Policy Perspectives

Disaster Relief Request

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have formally requested that the US Department of Agriculture provide quick approval of disaster relief funds for New York farmers under a Federal Agricultural Disaster Declaration.

The measure was in response to a severe cold snap across New York State on May 17 & 18, with unseasonably cold temperatures also occurring between May 14 and 25 in certain locations. The unusual conditions were especially damaging to apples and grapes, but other crops were also affected in 31 of New York’s 62 counties. The most severe damage was in the Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley, which both have significant orchard and vineyard acreage.

New York is the nation’s second largest producer of apples, plus third in grapes, grape juice, and wine, so these products form a significant part of the state’s agricultural economy. We appreciate our Senators’ concerns and actions.