Schumer bring news about federal aid to local Fruit Farmers
On Freday (March 28th) at Van Acker Farms in Williamson, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Wayne County fruit farmers that experienced an extreme and damaging Spring freeze in 2012 have federal aid on the way, and urged that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expedite the roll-out of this recently passed retroactive disaster relief program. Schumer visited the Van Acker Farm following that devastating thaw-freeze and vowed to fight for retroactive aid in upcoming Farm Bills.
The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), which helps farmers recover from loss of income due to weather-related or other disasters will be able to provide growers with much needed assistance. Schumer will say that he fought for NAP to be both strengthened and include retroactive assistance as part of the recently passed Farm Bill. The provision allows NAP to cover farmers’ losses retroactively, which frees up millions of dollars in federal disaster relief money for farmers in Upstate New York who lost more than half of their expected yield from tree and bush fruit crops in 2012.
The retroactive NAP program, however, is not scheduled to get underway until late fall, which is not ideal for fruit farmers who need the cash flow more now, as they ramp up during the spring, than when the season winds down in the fall. Schumer will therefore urge the USDA to expedite and prioritize the implementation of the program to get disaster relief funds flowing sooner and when farmers need it most.
Schumer was joined by owner of Dan Van Acker of Van Acker Farms, Gary Orbaker of Orbaker Fruit Farms, other Wayne County cherry, peach, pear growers, and local officials.