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Senators want disaster declaration after frost hurt local apple, grape crops

May 29, 2023 12:48 pm

WNYT reports that New York's Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand want a federal disaster declaration from the Department of Agriculture after a late frost last week hurt local vineyards, farms, and orchards. Apple and grape crops were hit hard by a late-season frost last week. One farming expert told the newspaper that 30-35 percent of the region’s apple crop was lost in the frost. Michael Migliore, president of the Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association, said of local growers, “The last time they saw a frost this late that caused this much damage was 60 years ago.” Migliore's Ulster County vineyard lost between 50-60 percent of its grapes, while his Columbia County vineyard only lost about five percent of its grapes because its location on the east bank of the Hudson River was warmer. His Greene County vineyard was “100 percent wiped out.” If the U.S. Department of Agriculture declares a federal disaster, farmers would be eligible to receive funds for their losses. Migliore said, “Is it going to make up for what happened? No. Will it possibly give you a lifeline to keep you afloat and in business? Maybe.” Read the full story in WNYT.