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Gillibrand seeks federal aid for grape growers

By THOMAS ADAMS - 3/7/2014 3:59:38 PM

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday called on the Department of Agriculture to help grape growers and vineyards in Upstate New York affected by the winter’s cold temperatures.

Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, asked for an agriculture disaster declaration to provide federal relief from crop losses from record low temperatures. She made the request by letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack.

Some vineyards in the Finger Lakes region have lost 90 percent of their crop, Gillibrand said, citing data from Cornell Cooperative Extension.

“When New York’s farmers struggle, our entire economy struggles,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “This long and bitter cold winter has been extremely harmful to grape growers and vineyards.”

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