Farmers hit hard by frost
are eligible for federal relief

Oneida County farmers and growers hit hard by the on-again, off-again winter are being offered some relief by the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 28 New York counties, including Oneida, Madison and Herkimer, as natural disaster areas due to crop losses caused by frost and freezes that began March 1. The designation, announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, makes qualified farm operators eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

"I am pleased that our farmers will now be able to apply for assistance if they need it," Rep. Richard L. Hanna, R-24, Barneveld, 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."

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a disaster designation to apply for assistance, according to the USDA. The local Farm Service Agency is located at 9025 River Road, Room 201, Marc. The telephone number is 736-3316