Delaware Public Media

Delaware gets natural disaster designation for rainfall damage to crops last year

Feb 28, 2019

Delaware farmers can now apply for emergency federal relief to compensate for last year’s losses.

Excessive rainfall and flooding destroyed crops up and down the First State last summer, especially during hurricanes Florence and Michael.

US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is designating all three of Delaware’s counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas.

“Our farmers were having a really hard time getting their crops planted as well as getting them harvested. So we’re looking at crops like corn, soybeans and vegetables were really hard hit last year with the rain,” Delaware Department of Agriculture Spokeswoman Stacey Hofmann.

Delaware Farmers can apply for emergency loans between now and October 21st through their local Farm Service Agency.

Hofmann says the amount of compensation will be based on the assessed need of the farm

“They look at what they were planning on planting and what actually came out of the field--between what they planted and what came out of the field and the loss there,” said Hofmann. “So that’s really important, they’re not getting money for what they didn’t plant. They're getting exactly what they need to cover their losses.”

Emergency loans can be used for recovery needs that could include equipment, livestock or the refinancing of some debts.

Hofmann says the USDA Ag census will be released later in March.