USDA designates 8 NH counties as natural disaster areas

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated eight counties in New Hampshire as primary natural disaster areas.

The designation is in response to the fluctuating temperatures in all but two of state's counties this past year, which has left farmers with poor conditions for crops, New Hampshire Public Radio reported Tuesday.

Farmers in the designated counties saw at least a 30% loss of alfalfa, raspberry or blueberry crops.

The farmers and producers who have been impacted or suffered losses from the cold and temperature fluctuations last winter and early spring are eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Carl Majewski, a field specialist at the Cheshire County University of New Hampshire's extension office, said what is happening in these counties is supported by climate science and that winters are getting milder.

Those impacted can apply for emergency loans through the farm service agency through August 17.