NH Department of Agriculture Launches Crop Loss Program, Accepting Applications

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Paula Tracy photo

Agriculture Commissioner Shawn Jasper is pictured at Dec. 1, 2022 hearing before the Executive Council on his renomination.

CONCORD – Gov. Chris Sununu and Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food Commissioner Shawn N. Jasper announced that the Crop Loss Program will begin accepting applications today on Friday, March 1.

The $8 Million program, developed in collaboration with staff from UNH Cooperative Extension, is designed to help New Hampshire Farmers who suffered significant crop losses as a result of extreme weather conditions which negatively impacted farms during 2023.

Surveys conducted by Cooperative Extension following the inclement weather found that fruit growers lost virtually all their peach crop due to extreme low temperatures. That loss was followed by a late freeze which destroyed a significant portion of the state’s apple crop. Farms then saw additional losses throughout the growing season due to an overabundance of rain.

“Last year’s brutal cold snap, late freeze, and overabundance of rain took its toll on crops across the Granite State,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “New Hampshire is wasting no time in ensuring our farmers receive relief to jumpstart the 2024 growing season following significant crop losses last year.”

“New Hampshire’s farmers do grueling work every day to provide food for Granite Staters,” said Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food Commissioner Shawn N. Jasper. “This program will make resources available immediately to provide producers with the resources needed to jumpstart a successful growing season.”

The program will be open to any farm which suffered at least a 30% loss of any commodity, had a gross farm income of at least $30,000 in the previous three years, and has neither closed nor is currently in bankruptcy. Awards will be made in a timely fashion to allow farms to purchase supplies ahead of the upcoming growing season.

Funding for the program, approved at the Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, repurposes ARPA Funding to provide almost immediate relief to farms in need.

Applications will be reviewed weekly to expedite award of aid. All applications must be received by May 15th, at which time the total losses will be evaluated. Additional payments may be made if funding allows. In no case will any farm’s payments exceed their loss, which will include a reasonable allowance for an owner operator’s labor.

Applications can be completed by visiting www.agriculture.nh.gov. Individuals with questions can contact the Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food at 603-271-3551.

Note: A letter from Governor Sununu and Commissioner Jasper to farmers can be found here.

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