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Seward wants state frost aid for farms

Jun 09, 2012 1:52 am
State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) is co-sponsoring the “Family Farmers and Apple Growers Relief Act” that would establish a special tax credit for farmers who experienced damage and loss to their crops this spring's severe frost. Senate Bill 7551, co-sponsored by Senator Seward, would establish a refundable personal income tax credit for farmers who suffered the loss of certain crops as a result of this year’s frost event at the start of the 2012 growing season. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued federal agriculture disaster declarations for New York counties that experienced crop damage as a result of a spring freeze, including Greene, Columbia, Albany, Dutchess, Rensselaer, Schoharie, and Ulster counties. Cornell’s Lake Erie Regional Research Laboratory estimates crop losses for apples at 50 percent, cherries at 100 percent, grapes at 40–50 percent, and peaches at 90 percent, with the level of crop loss varying based on region, elevation, and the crop’s stage of growth. Senator Seward is also co-sponsoring Senate Bill 6778 that would improve the administration of the agricultural districts law by revising the definition of “viable agricultural land” and streamlining the process to recertify agricultural assessments.

Click here to here a brief statement from Sen. Seward about the “Family Farmers and Apple Growers Relief Act.”