Twenty-four counties across Upstate New York have been designated as a natural disaster area by the federal government as a result of this summer's drought.
These designations mean that farmers in those areas may be eligible for assistance, including emergency loans, from the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.
Additionally, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball, state lawmakers and other farm leaders will be conducting on-site assessments of farms affected by the drought, while the state works closely with Cornell University expert hydrologists and climate professors to help understand and study the outlook for recovery.
Disaster declaration is based on reporting of crop loss to the federal Farm Service Agency and a D3 designation by the http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ .
The federal government declared 15 counties as primary natural disaster areas and an additional nine counties as contiguous disaster counties due to a recent drought.
In addition, several other counties in the North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York and the Southern Tier are also requesting primary disaster declarations.
The primary counties under the disaster declaration designation are: Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wyoming, Yates, Cayuga, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins.
The federal government also named nine counties as contiguous disaster counties. They are: Onondaga, Oswego, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Broome, Cortland, Orleans and Wayne.
The department also will tour affected farms in Western New York, the North Country and the Southern Tier.