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Senator Charles Schumer backs farmers after spring frost

Ian Lamont

Senator Charles Schumer is backing changes to this year’s farm bill that he says would better protect local farmers in the future from damages like those caused by this spring’s frost.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture today declared many upstate New York farms are now eligible for federal aid from those frosts.

Schumer says the new farm bill will make it easier for smaller farms to get crop insurance. It would also make it easier to collect money on damages.

"In this case, you wouldn’t have to wait for a complete disaster to strike before you could get help and that’s going to make a huge difference to our specialty crop people, particularly like I said our vegetable growers," Schumer said.

The bill would lower the damage requirement to collect on insurance from 51 percent to 35 percent of crops lost and increase payouts for damage.

The Farm Bill still needs to pass both the Senate and the House.

State aid for farmers for this year's damages is also pending in Albany. Counties that received disaster declarations and are eligible for some aid include Cayuga, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, Chanango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Otsego, Tompkins, and Wayne, among others.