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The Times
  • Schumer, Gillibrand urge USDA to issue agricultural disaster declaration

  • U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday wrote to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue an agriculture disaster declaration and expedite disaster assistance for upstate farmland damaged by heavy rain and flooding, extending from parts of Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Capital Region, the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas.

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  • U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday wrote to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue an agriculture disaster declaration and expedite disaster assistance for upstate farmland damaged by heavy rain and flooding, extending from parts of Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Capital Region, the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas.
    As much as 15 inches of rain has saturated these regions since mid-May, including an extreme storm that hit late last week, leaving farmland under water and killing crops.
    Schumer and Gillibrand are urging the USDA to immediately approve disaster assistance so farmers across the affected region can gain prompt access to the aid they need to recover, and will work with state and local officials to expedite further declarations as more county data is made available.
    “Agriculture is a key part of our economy and our way of life in upstate New York,” said Schumer. “As the waters begin to recede, farmers should have all available federal assistance at their back so they can hit the ground running as they start to recover and rebuild from this string of devastating storms. In the weeks and months ahead, we will fight for every last penny of aid to make sure our farmers can do just that.”
    “When New York’s farmers struggle, our entire economy struggles,” said Gillibrand. “Heavy rain and flooding are leaving farms across New York under water, damaging crops and costing farmers their business. We need any available federal resources on the ground without delay so we can clean up, rebuild and get our farmers back on the move.”
    Schumer and Gillibrand called on Vilsack to swiftly grant a disaster designation for affected counties to provide farmers with prompt access to the financial and technical assistance they need to recover from the storm and rebuild their farm businesses, including assistance through the emergency loan program, the supplemental revenue assistance program, the emergency conservation program and the emergency watershed protection program. The senators said these programs can provide a variety of tools to assist farmers overcome the challenges they will face in the coming weeks and months as they work to recover from production and physical losses on their farms and rebuild their businesses including financial assistance to compensate for crop losses, low interest emergency loans and assistance in rehabilitating farm land.

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