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Madison County given ‘disaster’ designation due to agriculture losses caused by winter freeze

Madison County was one of three counties in Central New York to have been designated “disasters” due to losses caused by a freeze that occurred this winter, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna announced Wednesday, April 9.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that Cortland, Madison and Oswego counties in the 22nd Congressional District suffered sufficient production losses due to a freeze that occurred from Dec. 1, 2013 through March 14, 2014, to warrant a Secretarial disaster designation.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for an assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available and repayment ability.

“I am pleased that our farmers will now be able to apply for assistance if they need it,” Hanna 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.”

The Cazenovia FSA office is located at 6503 Wes Road, Hamilton. Contact County Executive Director Laurie Fuess at 315-824-9076.

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