US Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on the US Department of Agriculture to quickly approve emergency federal funds for 31 counties across Upstate New York including Cortland and Tompkins.
The areas on the list were chosen for emergency aid due to major crop damage suffered from extreme cold weather in May that destroyed thousands of acres of grapes, apples, strawberries, blueberries and other fruits. Schumer and Gillibrand add that with the harvest season just beginning, its vital that the USDA provide relief to farmers who suffered severe crop loss.
It’s reported that grapes and apples were hit especially hard, with vineyards across New York reporting losses ranging from 5 to 100%. Several farmers in the Finger Lakes region said this year’s frost was the worst they’d ever seen, with almost every single vineyard in the region sustaining at least some type of damage.