Agricultural disaster declared
Capital Region farmers who are struggling from the effects of odd weather are getting some help from a federal agriculture disaster declaration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for counties across New York state, including Saratoga, Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties.
As a result of the declaration, farmers in the eligible counties can apply for low interest loans, crop insurance payouts and help in rebuilding their farms.
Isabel Prescott, owner of Riverview Orchards in Clifton Park, which lost about 75 percent of its apple crop due to recent frosts, said she thought the federal help would be beneficial.
"I think it is really important because we have a really narrow margin in our gross versus net income, because that's the way farming is," she said.
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D- N.Y., who had urged a disaster declaration, said: “These disaster declarations are a good first step to open up access to federal resources so these farmers can get back to business and keep New York’s agricultural industry on the move.”
Here are the disaster declarations and eligible counties:
• Disaster No. 1: Frost and freezes that occurred during the period of March 1, 2012, and continuing.
Disaster declaration for the primary counties of Albany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Columbia, Dutchess, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Ulster, Washington and Yates.
Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Allegany, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Genesee, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Oneida, Otsego, Putnam, Schenectady, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Warren, Wayne and Wyoming
• Disaster No. 2: Frost and freezes, unseasonably warm temperatures and excessive heat that occurred during the period of March 1 through April 30, 2012.
Disaster declaration for the primary counties of Allegany, Wayne and Wyoming.
Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca and Steuben.
• Disaster No. 3: Frost, freezes, high winds and hail that occurred during the period of March 26 through April 8, 2012.
Disaster declaration for the primary counties of Orange and Rockland.
Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster.
• Designation No. 4: Excessive snow and freezes that occurred during the period of April 1 through April 30, 2012.
Disaster declaration for the primary county of Tompkins.
Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Seneca and Tioga.
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