Worcester among 11 Mass. counties declared federal disaster areas due to drought

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Eleven of the state’s 14 counties have been deemed “primary natural disaster areas” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to substantial crop losses that began with a February deep freeze and continued through a summer marked by severe drought.

Worcester, Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk and Plymouth counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas, the USDA said, “due to losses caused by frost and freeze that occurred from February 14 through May 4, 2016.”

Boston Common, Aug. 10

Antonio Caban / State House News Service

Boston Common, with the State House in the background, was already in rough shape last month.

Farmers in those counties are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, the USDA said. Farmers have eight months to apply for a loan to help cover part of their losses.


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