Farmers in Ocean, Atlantic, Burlington and seven other counties devastated by summer rain, winds and flooding can recover with newly-authorized federal loans.

flickr, Jason Dirks

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a disaster declaration in light of what officials view as significant agricultural losses in the torrential downpours and whipping winds from May through the end of September.

"The sheer amount of rain, flooding and extreme weather that South Jersey experienced this past summer was far beoynd what our farms and crops could handle," said Representative Frank Lobiondo (R-2) in response to the decree.

 "With this declaration, farmers willhave access to emergency loans throughte Farm Service Agency to recoup their losses and rebuild their operations."

Farm operators have eight months to apply. Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem are also primary recipients. Monmouth and Mercer Counties are included as contiguous disaster counties.

The message from the USDA to Governor Christie can be read here.