Pa. Ag Department Aiding Farmers Following Ivan

September 27, 2004

On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff has shared helpful information with farmers affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan. The Governor requested federal funding for the state’s farmers through U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

“This has been the worst flooding that Pennsylvania has seen in decades,” said Wolff. “We have heard reports of extensive corn and soybean damage in fields along the Susquehanna River and most streams and rivers in the state. USDA continues to assess crop damage across the state. Forty-six counties have already been declared federal disaster areas.”

Now entering harvest season, farmers need to know how to respond to the effects of the storm. The Department is working with a variety of sources to collect science-based information to advise farmers with crop handling and recovery, because of possible contamination by floodwaters.

The Emergency Conservation Program, administered by the Farm Service Agency, provides assistance to farmers to rehabilitate cropland, restore fences and conservation structures, and remove debris from farmland. The program is reportedly one of few that can react quickly to help farmers recover from this type of disaster.

Farmers with crop insurance should remember to file a notice of damage or loss to their insurance agent immediately. Claims should be reported: within 72 hours of damage discover; before destruction of crops; and within 15 days after earlier harvest completion or by Dec. 10, 2004.

Loss adjusters will aid in the documentation of crop yields and quality to support the claim. Contaminated crops destined for food or feed should be sampled, tested and evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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