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USDA makes farmers eligible for disaster relief assistance due to drought

Some Maine farmers could be eligible for disaster relief assistance.
USDA
USDA(AP)
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 11:44 PM EDT
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Washington, D.C., (WABI) - Some farmers in Maine might be able to get some help because of the drought during the growing season.

“Maine farmers have faced tremendous challenges this year, from supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 to the drought that severely impacted the growing season,” said Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden in a joint statement.  “Maine farms sustain our rural communities, whether they are newly founded operations or ones that have been passed down from generation to generation.  We strongly supported COVID-19 relief funding to help Maine farmers get through this difficult period, and this designation will help provide additional assistance.”

We’re told Farmers in more than ten counties might be able to get some disaster relief assistance.

“USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue designated Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, and Washington counties as primary natural disaster areas.  Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Kennebec, Lincoln, Oxford, Waldo, and York counties were named as contiguous disaster counties.  Secretary Perdue previously designated Aroostook County as a primary natural disaster area in September.”

The funds can be used for essentials, farming operations, replace or restoring essential property, and more.

“USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue designated Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, and Washington counties as primary natural disaster areas.  Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Kennebec, Lincoln, Oxford, Waldo, and York counties were named as contiguous disaster counties.  Secretary Perdue previously designated Aroostook County as a primary natural disaster.”

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.

“The statewide drought conditions are severely impacting our agricultural sector and the rural communities they support,” said Governor Mills. “I welcome the USDA’s declaration and the disaster relief it will bring to Maine’s hardworking farmers. I will continue to work closely with Maine’s Congressional Delegation to support our farmers throughout this challenging period.”

We’re told Farmers will have eight months to apply for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.

“Maine farmers have faced tremendous challenges this year, from supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 to the drought that severely impacted the growing season,” said Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden in a joint statement.  “Maine farms sustain our rural communities, whether they are newly founded operations or ones that have been passed down from generation to generation.  We strongly supported COVID-19 relief funding to help Maine farmers get through this difficult period, and this designation will help provide additional assistance.”

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