Delaware Public Media

Delaware farms receive emergency disaster designation from USDA

Aug 21, 2018

The USDA is allowing Delaware farmers to apply for federal assistance after heavy rains took a toll on many First State crops.

The designation qualifies Delaware farmers for federal loans if they’ve purchased crop insurance, have exhausted efforts for commercial loans and lost at least 30% of their grow.

Delaware Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Stacey Hofmann says rainfall during April and May was particularly detrimental to multiple crops.

“When you’re looking at spring crops you might think about strawberries, and beans and corn going in. It is a very important timeframe for growth as well as harvest,” said Hofmann.

Many crops were damaged in May when a statewide average of more than 6 inches of rain fell. That’s more than 50% above the norm for that time of year.

This is the fourth disaster designation in Delaware since 2012.

“A lot of these were for droughts, but when we look at the rain again that we had from the end of July to the beginning of September last year, that also qualified. So that was Delaware’s last designation before this,” said Hofmann.

Farmers have eight months from the date of disaster designation, July 18th, to apply for federal loans. They can borrow up to 100% of their losses based on previous production trends, and there is a 500-thousand-dollar maximum.