TRENTON - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack has designated the New Jersey counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean as disaster areas.

The six counties experienced high winds, frost, freeze, and flooding during May 2010, which led to crop losses. Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) began the process of bringing relief to impacted farmers in mid-August when reports began coming in that the extreme weather had caused crop and property loss on farms in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties.

The designation includes the contiguous counties of Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth and Salem. A subsequent disaster request is being prepared to assist farmers harmed by excessively hot and dry conditions this summer.