Farm Bureau Assessing Irene Damage; Working with State, County Officials

August 29, 2011 Updated Aug 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Farm Bureau Assessing Irene Damage; Working with State, County Officials

August 29, 2011 Updated Aug 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM EDT

Albany, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- New York Farm Bureau assembled a team on Monday to assist in emergency situations on flooded and wind-blown farms and assess overall damage from Hurricane Irene to agriculture, which appears to be extensive in some areas.

“Today, we are coordinating through our vast member network to reach out to our farmers that are in immediate need of help,” said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau.

Stranded farms, stranded livestock, infrastructure damage and power issues appear to be the immediate concerns.

“In the coming days we will be collecting damage assessments and making sure that information is delivered to county emergency management offices in affected areas,” Norton said.

Crop damage appears to be severe in areas around the Schoharie Valley and Mohawk Valley. Other areas in the Hudson Valley are seeing considerable damage as well. Long Island experienced crop damage as well.

Damage to roads and bridges could also create problems for dairy farms that need to haul milk on a daily basis. State agriculture officials are working on those issues.

A conference call this morning between New York Farm Bureau, officials from the Department of Agriculture and Markets and other farm leaders determined that the needs for agriculture will likely be extensive.

Farmers are encouraged to carefully document all damage and report to the Farm Service Agency for possible emergency aid and for crop insurance claims.

Farm Bureau is currently working with the government to get damage assessments in order to receive disaster declarations necessary for crop insurance and Farm Service Agency loans.

New York Farm Bureau urges farmers with power to reach out to neighboring farms without power to make sure their emergency needs are communicated to the proper authorities.

If farmers have questions or concerns they are encouraged to contact their county emergency management office, or the NYFB state office at 518-436-8495.