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USDA declares agricultural disaster in Cayuga, 13 other counties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued an agricultural disaster declaration for 14 counties in Upstate New York, opening the door for much-needed assistance to farms impacted by extreme weather events.

This declaration comes in response to a series of severe weather incidents, including flooding and a tornado, that struck the region in July.

The primary counties directly affected by these storms are Clinton, Franklin, Lewis, and Onondaga. Additionally, the declaration extends to ten contiguous counties: Cayuga, Cortland, Essex, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, and St. Lawrence.

This move aims to support the recovery of these agricultural communities heavily impacted by the weather conditions.

Farmers in these designated areas are now eligible to apply for emergency loans, with the application period extending for eight months. The decision to declare these areas as disaster zones was based on crop loss reports submitted to the Farm Service Agency.

The USDA’s declaration is a crucial step in mitigating the effects of these adverse weather events on the agricultural sector.