HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary George Greig today saw first-hand the flood damage on farms in northeast Pennsylvania, saying the destruction caused by remnants of Tropical Storm Lee has dealt a devastating blow to the state's agriculture industry.
"The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have caused hardships for many Pennsylvanians, with farmers among the hardest hit," said Greig, during a tour of the Norm Darling & Sons Farm in Plains Township, Luzerne County, which saw severe flood damage to vegetable crops. "Even with widespread crop damage and wet soil promising to delay harvest, 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 today also visited several other 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.
Media contact: Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture