Vermont Farmers Hit By Drought May Be Eligible For Federal Aid

Sep 27, 2016

Vermont's secretary of agriculture says some farmers here may be eligible for federal disaster aid due to the ongoing drought that's hit elsewhere in New England.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared that farmers in certain areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island qualify for the federal aid.

Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross says it's likely Vermont farmers near the drought-stricken areas qualify as well.

“There have been a number of counties in other states that have been declared disaster areas for drought purposes,” Ross said Tuesday. “And what happens, under the [U.S. Department of Agriculture], is neighboring counties in that state and neighboring states are eligible for disaster payments.”

Farmers should contact Vermont’s Farm Service Agency to see if they’re eligible, Ross says.

According to Ross, Vermont producers could get assistance to compensate for low crop yields and other impacts from the drought.

Some of the aid is in the form of low-interest emergency loans.

Hear more from Chuck Ross’ interview on Vermont's struggling dairy economy in Tuesday’s Vermont Edition.