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Schumer, Gillibrand seek disaster aid for farmers

A farm in East Northport as Hurricane Irene

A farm in East Northport as Hurricane Irene passes over. (Aug. 28, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Arnold Miller

Seeking federal emergency aid for New York State's farmers hit by Hurricane Irene, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide disaster relief as soon as possible.

The request could result in financial assistance to compensate for crop losses, low interest emergency loans and assistance in rehabilitating farm land, the senators said.

The request covers Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and upstate.

"Farmers in these regions have suffered from floods which left fields submerged in water, high winds which have leveled crops, and power outages which have left dairy farmers unable to milk their cows," the two senators said in a prepared statement.

“Whether it’s dairy farmers fighting to tend to their livestock in the face of power outages and property damage, farmers whose fields are underwater, or any other farmer that plays a pivotal role in our economy, one thing is absolutely clear – Irene has had a devastating impact on farms throughout New York,” Schumer said.

“New York’s farmers are a critical part of our economy and we must ensure their success,” Gillibrand said in the statement.

A federal disaster finding would speed farmers' access to the USDA's emergency loan , supplemental revenue assistance, emergency conservation and emergency watershed protection programs.

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