U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today announced that significant agricultural production losses in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem have warranted a Secretarial disaster declaration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The declaration cites the combined effects of excessive rain, related flooding, high winds and hail that occurred from May 2013 through September 24th.
"The sheer amount of rain, flooding and extreme weather that South Jersey experienced this past summer was far beyond what our farms and crops could handle. It was appropriate to request federal assistance and I'm pleased USDA Secretary Vilsack has granted a Secretarial disaster declaration across the region," said LoBiondo. "With this declaration, farm operators will have access to emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency to recoup their losses and rebuild their operations. I appreciate Governor Christie's efforts to ensure the critically-important agricultural sector of our state -- and the backbone of South Jersey -- was not forgotten."
LoBiondo supported multiple applications for disaster declarations for South Jersey farmers due to various extreme weather conditions in the past few years. Mercer and Monmouth Counties were also included as contiguous disaster counties in today's Secretarial disaster designation. The official USDA letter to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is attached.