WHILE WEATHER is adding mightily to the plight of area dairy farmers, all agriculture has been so hard hit by rain and storm damage that Monday, July 27, Governor David Paterson requested the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designate Columbia and 16 other counties as agricultural disaster areas.
If the USDA approves the request, the designation “will enable our farmers to receive the financial assistance they need,” the governor said in a release.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Agricultural Extension Education Mick Bessire said that in addition to the tomato blight reported in The Columbia Paper July 16, other crops in the county have been affected in different ways by the rain and, in some places, hail and by the resulting mold and fungal infections. Some spring crops weren’t planted on time because the fields were too wet, other fields washed out and had to be replanted late. Some were never planted.