U.S. Representative Richard Hanna (NY-24) announced today that several counties in the Central New York and Southern Tier areas have been designated "disasters" due to frost, freezes or excessive snow earlier this year.
At the request of New York state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined the following counties suffered sufficient production losses due to natural disasters and farm operators in these counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA):
* Frost and freezes that occurred during the period of March 1, 2012 and continuing:
- Primary counties include: Broome, Cayuga, Madison, Ontario, Oswego and Seneca.
- Contiguous counties include: Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Oneida, Otsego, Tioga and Tompkins.
* Excessive snow and freezes that occurred during the period of April 1 through April 30, 2012:
- Primary counties include: Tompkins.
- Contiguous counties include: Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca and Tioga.
"I am pleased that our farmers will now be able to apply for assistance if they need it," Rep. Hanna said. "You can't know when a natural disaster will strike and unfortunately one bad storm can wipe out an entire crop season. USDA disaster programs can help our agriculture industry recover, and I encourage impacted farmers in these counties to contact their local FSA office."
According to USDA officials: Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a disaster designation to apply for assistance. Producers in both primary and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for FSA Emergency Loans (EM) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).
The FSA will consider each EM loan application based on its own merit by taking into account the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability. Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers and ranchers with additional information.