Senator Clinton Presses Agriculture Secretary to Declare New York Counties Disaster Areas
Seeks Assurances That One-time "Buy-In" Program Will Offer Disaster Protection for Farmers Without Crop Insurance or Non-Insured Disaster Assistance
Farmers Must Act by September 16, 2008
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is pressing Agriculture Secretary Edward T. Schafer to declare counties in New York disaster areas due to damage sustained to crops in recent hailstorms. In telephone calls with Secretary Schafer and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Clinton relayed the condition of New York farms she recently visited and discussed action needed to provide assistance to the state's producers. Additionally, Senator Clinton sought assurances that New York farmers would be eligible for the "Buy-In" provision of the 2008 Farm Bill, which allows farmers to gain access to disaster assistance programs even if they have not purchased crop insurance or non-insured disaster assistance (NAP).
"Many growers and farmers in New York are struggling to get back on their feet in the wake of recent storms, and we need to provide whatever assistance we can to help lighten the burden. By declaring New York counties disaster areas, struggling farmers will have access to resources that will help speed the recovery from these storms," said Senator Clinton. "I also urge New York farmers to take advantage of this opportunity to get the protection they need. Farmers without crop insurance or NAP can still obtain the protection of federal disaster assistance programs, which will help protect New York's crops and farmers in the event of future natural disasters."
Senator Clinton has worked on behalf of New York farmers whose crops have been devastated by natural disasters. She recently pushed for advance disaster payment assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for farmers affected by recent storms. The Senator's actions could move up the timeline for producers to receive assistance from USDA's new permanent disaster program that she supported as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
Under the Farm Bill, farmers have a one-time opportunity to be eligible for the Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance programs even if they have not purchased catastrophic risk protection level crop insurance or non-insured crop disaster assistance. Farmers who wish to participate in the "Buy-In" program must visit their administrative county Farm Service Agency (FSA) and obtain form CCC-752 or form CCC-753. The deadline for the buy-in is September 16, 2008. Click here for more information on this program from the United States Department of Agriculture.