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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 30, 2009

Help for rain-battered farmers

ALBANY COUNTY — The summer’s deluges of rain may soon bring some relief to area farmers.

Governor David Paterson on Monday requested that the United States Department of Agriculture designate 17 counties including Albany, as agricultural disaster areas.

The freezing temperatures early in the season, frequent rainstorms that led to flash flooding, and hail storms paired with blight affecting tomatoes and potatoes have devastated crops.

“Excessive rain presents a host of problems for farmers, ranging from difficulty working in the fields due to mud, to the introduction of pests, fungus and rot associated with wet growing conditions, to the loss of quality and quantity of crops harvested,” according to a release announcing the governor’s request.

If declared a federal agricultural disaster area, farmers in designated counties will be able to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Services Agency.  Each application would be considered on its own merits, according to the release, and take into account the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability, among other things.

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