FONDA?- Montgomery County is among several upstate New York counties eligible for loan assistance as a result of a drought that decimated crops starting in June.
U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 29 counties in upstate New York as "primary natural disaster areas" and 21 "contiguous counties" that will be eligible for Farm Service Agency loan assistance.
As damage assessments were completed throughout the state after the May freeze, Schumer and Gillibrand worked with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to put resources in place to assist farmers who lost crops during the freeze, a news release said.
The emergency declaration for counties with severe crop damage will make farmers in those counties eligible for emergency disaster loans to lessen the cash-flow problems that occur after crops are lost due to inclement weather.
"After upstate New York weathered a severe drought this summer, the federal government heeded my call to not leave our farmers high-and-dry when they granted 50 counties access to disaster funding," said Schumer. "I applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture for swiftly assessing the damage to crops throughout the state following the drought, and coming through with disaster designation when our farmers needed it most. Whenever a disaster strikes and hurts agriculture businesses in upstate New York, I will continue to work with the federal government to ensure our farmers have all the tools they need for healthy crop production."
"For New York state's economy to grow, we need our farms to thrive," Gillibrand said in the release. "Still recovering from last year's back-to-back natural disasters and a late spring frost, the summer's drought was just the latest drain on our farms' productivity. America has always stood by those who are suffering and helped them to rebuild. These disaster declarations will open the door for the assistance our farms need."