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State and local leaders tour frost damage at Finger Lakes vineyards

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, along with representatives from various state and federal agencies, toured vineyards in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions on Friday to assess the impact of a recent freeze.

The unusually late frost, the first of its kind in decades, has caused significant damage to grape crops in Steuben, Schuyler, and Seneca Counties, exacerbating weather-related challenges faced by growers in the previous year.


The Department of Agriculture is committed to helping affected growers across the state and mitigating the long-term economic impact of this weather event.

From May 15 to 25, 2023, extremely low temperatures resulted in widespread frost damage to crops throughout New York, including vineyards in the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Hudson Valley.


With New York being the third largest grape and wine producer in the country, generating a $6.65 billion economic impact, the frost damage could have serious implications.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is working with partners to document the damage and prepare a disaster declaration request. Farmers are encouraged to record their conditions and losses, and to file a Notice of Loss with their local USDA FSA. The extent of the damage is still being surveyed, with estimates ranging from 5% to 100% depending on location. Collaborative efforts across all levels of government are being initiated to help the industry recover.