Montpelier, VT – Governor Phil Scott says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Vermont a natural disaster area from the July flooding. The move will make farms eligible for emergency federal loans.

Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts says since July, farmers have reported over $16 million in damage and losses. “Our farming community has faced a one-two punch this year that some may not survive,” Tebbetts said in a statement. “This designation can provide a lifeline to these important farm and food businesses with resources until next year’s growing season.”

It’s the second USDA disaster declaration for Vermont this year. In July, the USDA approved a request for a disaster declaration for the May frost.

The declaration declaration makes farms hit by the flooding eligible for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency. Impacted farmers have eight months to apply.