FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2007

Schumer Announces $80,000 In Federal Funds For Mohawk Valley Farms Damaged By Fall Floods

Federal Funds Awarded to Herkimer and Fulton Counties Will Aid Farmers In Debris Removal And Clean Up Efforts

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has awarded $80,000 to Herkimer and Fulton Counties in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding. Both counties will use federal funds to help farmers in the area recover from damage caused by this fall's floods.

"This is great news for farmers in the Mohawk Valley," said Schumer. "Our farmers, who are the backbone of the upstate economy, suffered huge amounts of damage from this fall's floods. This funding will help farmers recover damage to their land and crops and allow them to get back on their feet." During the fall of 2006 heavy rains and storms pummeled the Mohawk Valley leading to massive flooding in the region. As a result, many of the area's farmers suffered damage to their land, crops and equipment. The damage was particularly heavy in Herkimer and Fulton counties. Schumer visited the area immediately after the flooding, to view the damage firsthand. The ECP program gives producers additional resources to remove debris from farmland, restore fences and conservation structures, provide water for livestock in drought situations and grade and shape farmland damaged by a natural disaster. The program is administered by FSA's state and county committees. Locally-elected county committees are authorized to implement ECP for all disasters except drought, which is authorized at the national office of FSA. Eligible producers will receive cost-share assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost of the approved practice, as determined by FSA county committees. For a producer's land to be eligible, the disaster must create new conservation problems that, if untreated, would impair or endanger the land and affect its productive capacity. Conservation problems existing prior to the applicable disaster are ineligible for ECP assistance. USDA offers additional programs to help farmers and ranchers recover from damages caused by natural disasters. These programs include the Emergency Loan Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

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