Recent unseasonable weather variations have severely damaged crops in the Wayne-Finger Lakes Region. In response to these unexpected temperature extremes, State Senator Mike Nozzolio is calling on Governor Cuomo to seek federal disaster assistance for farmers in Wayne County and other areas impacted by this unusual weather.
“The unexpected early thaw in March and April followed by sudden freezing temperatures has caused major damage to the fruit crops in Wayne County and the Finger Lakes Region, jeopardizing the livelihoods of many of our growers,” said Senator Nozzolio. “Agriculture is a critical part of our local economy and it would be devastating to the entire region if our farms and orchards were to fail due to this extreme weather.”
Senator Nozzolio and more than 20 of his Senate colleagues from across Upstate New York have written to Governor Cuomo, urging him to petition the Federal government to declare the impacted region a disaster area. A disaster declaration will ensure that local farmers who have lost crops as a result of the sudden temperature shift will be eligible for federal assistance.
The Federal Farm Services Agency is currently gathering information on crop losses statewide. Preliminary estimates indicate that the damage in Wayne County already meets the threshold for disaster assistance.
“Federal assistance in the wake of this damage is critical to ensuring the viability of our Finger Lakes agriculture,” said Senator Nozzolio. “I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and my Senate colleagues to bring immediate federal attention to this serious issue and help our farmers and fruit growers.”