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February 10, 2020 - 4:11pm

Excessive rain in 2019 brings disaster area designation for Genesee County, allows farmers to get aid

posted by Billie Owens in farmers, agriculture, business, disaster area.

Information from press releases.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 43 New York counties, including Genesee County, as primary natural disaster areas.

This designation allows the Farm Service agencies in affected states to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is Sept. 29.

Excessive Rain

Producers in Albany, Allegany, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Livingston, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Wyoming, and Yates counties, who suffered losses due to excessive rain that has occurred since April 1, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Producers in the contiguous New York counties of Broome, Cattaraugus, Cortland, Dutchess, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Orange, St. Lawrence, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, and Wayne, along with Berkshire County, Mass.; Bradford, Erie, McKean, Pike, Potter, Susquehanna, Tioga, Warren, and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania; and Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle, and Rutland counties in Vermont, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

"The farmers in Genesee County were certainly affected by excessive moisture in the spring," according to Molly Preston, the GC executive director of the local Farm Service Agency, which has an office on Liberty Street in Batavia.

"However, many of the farmers were able to get crops planted, even if it was a bit later than usual. 'The cows need to be fed' was the response from many farmers when asked if they were able to get all their crops in.

"In Genesee County there were approximately 12,500 acres reported as prevented (from being) planted. There are roughly 150,000 acres reported (as planted) annually in Genesee County.

The main crops affected locally were corn and soybeans, but some vegetable crops were also affected. In addition, some new seeded forages were delayed from being planted during the normal planting period, Preston says.

Excessive Rain, Flash Flooding, and Flooding

Producers in Cattaraugus, Jefferson, Lewis, and Madison counties, who suffered losses due to excessive rain, flash flooding, and flooding that has occurred since April 15, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Producers in the contiguous New York counties of Alleghany, Chautauqua, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Herkimer, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming, along with McKean and Warren counties in Pennsylvania, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

FSA will review the loan applications based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish ProgramEmergency Conservation ProgramLivestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity Program;Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.

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