Four local counties are among those eligible for disaster funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for crops damaged by frost and drought, according to a media release from Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties are among the 29 counties designated as primary disaster areas. Delaware County is considered a contiguous area, meaning farmers there would also be eligible for aid.
“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,” Schumer said in the release. “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.”
“For New York State’s economy to grow, we need our farms to thrive,” Gillibrand said in the release. “These disaster declarations will open the door the assistance our farms need so they can get back to business, and keep our agricultural industry on the move.”
This disaster designation makes farm operators eligible for assistance from the FSA, including emergency loans. Eligible have eight months from the date the declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. Eligible applicants must be family farmers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have experienced a crop loss or more than 30 percent, or a physical loss of livestock, livestock products, real estate or property. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have been unable to obtain credit from a commercial lender, but that they are able to repay the loan.