Agriculture Secretary George Greig saw first-hand the flood damage on farms in central Pennsylvania, saying the destruction caused by remnants of Tropical Storm Lee has dealt a devastating blow to the state’s agriculture industry.
“Over the past couple days, I’ve seen the devastation caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee,” said Greig, during a tour of one of the Sterman Masser Potato Farms in Dalmatia, Dauphin County, which saw severe flooding. “Even with damage to crops and physical infrastructure and fields difficult to enter for harvest, I know that farmers will weather this storm just as we have others – with determination and hard work.
“I thank Governor Corbett for his swift actions, along with those of first responders, including the State Police, National Guard and local fire, police and ambulance services. I also want to note the exceptional work done by state and county animal response teams that established shelters for displaced animals in 13 counties,” said Greig.
Greig has also visited farms in Columbia and Schuylkill counties. Yesterday, he viewed damage on farms and agribusinesses in Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.
Greig said producers covered by crop insurance may be able to file a damage claim and receive federal disaster assistance. Producers dealing with flood-related crop damage should note the following:
- If participating in a federally-sponsored crop insurance plan, you must notify an agent within 72 hours of discovery of crop damage.
- All residue and crop damage should be left intact until insurance agents can properly assess extent of damage.
- Individuals should contact Karen Powell, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture risk management specialist, at 717-705-9511 if there are questions pertaining to crop insurance in Pennsylvania.
At Governor Corbett’s request, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for Pennsylvania in the wake of Tropical Storm Lee, making low interest emergency loans available to producers who sustained flood damage. Eligibility requirements have not yet been established, but more information can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov or by calling a local FSA office.
The deadline to purchase crop insurance on fall-planted crops is Sept. 30, and plans are available for protection of wheat, barley, alfalfa, pasture, hayland and apiculture. Most growers need protection on all crops to be eligible for federal disaster assistance.
Producers whose farms have been impacted by flood damage can contact their local county extension office or the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at 717-787-4737 for more information.