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Congressman Langworthy Announces Federal Disaster Relief for New York Grape Growers

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The April 25 freeze was a disaster for many grape farmers

From the Office of Congressman Nick Langworthy,

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Nick Langworthy announced disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for local grape growers in the Lake Erie Grape Belt who experienced major crop losses as a result of an unexpected freeze on April 25, 2024. Congressman Langworthy led efforts to secure relief for these grape growers, previously sending a letter requesting USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack approve New York State’s disaster declaration.

“Since the April 25th freeze, I’ve been in constant contact with local grape growers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure we get the necessary support for our farmers who were hit hard by this unexpected weather event,” said Congressman Langworthy. “Securing this disaster relief is a critical step in helping our grape growers recover and continue their vital contributions to our local economy and the Concord grape industry. These devastating circumstances are what led me to introduce the GRAPE ACT, which will provide affordable, comprehensive crop insurance for grape growers, building resilience for the future.”

According to the USDA, a Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator.

Congressman Langworthy’s original letter to Secretary Vilsack can be found here.

More information on the GRAPE Act, which passed the House Agriculture Committee as an amendment to the 2024 Farm Bill, can be found here.

Congressman Nick Langworthy represents the 23rd Congressional District of New York, including Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties and parts of Erie County. Visit langworthy.house.gov.

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