CAPITAL REGION -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a natural disaster declaration the 43 upstate counties where heavy and persistent rains and flooding affected farming during 2019, including all the counties in the Capital Region.
The designation, which was announced by federal legislators on Thursday and Friday, qualifies farmers in the effected counties for emergency loans and other Farm Service Agency assistance.
The counties covered by the designation are Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Wyoming, and Yates counties.
"After weathering a brutal farming season last year, the USDA's disaster designation will provide much-needed assistance to farmers and growers throughout upstate New York," said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., in announcing the designation. "From corner to corner of the state, I have seen firsthand the aftermath of last year's severe rain and flooding, Thankfully, this disaster declaration means our upstate farmers and growers will have access to critical emergency loans and more, at a time when they need it the most."
“The weather events this past spring, including excessive flooding in many areas, took a toll on farmers across upstate New York” said U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville. “I am glad USDA has made this designation and will be offering aid to producers, who are vital to the North Country. I encourage any farmers who have questions about this application process to reach out to my offices directly.”
The USDA offers a variety of programs and services to help communities, farmers, ranchers, and businesses recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, and other natural disasters.