New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine has enlisted the assistance of Soil and Water Conservation Districts to begin assessing damage in agricultural disaster areas and to begin identifying projects to restore farms and farmland. Initiating the Governor’s $15 million Agricultural and Community Recovery Fund (ACRF), the first allocation of $5 million, the conservation component, will provide funding for farmers to restore farmland damaged by Hurricane Irene and prevent further damage in the future.
The Soil and Water Districts will determine land eligibility based on site inspections of damage. For land to be eligible, the Hurricane must have created
a new conservation problem that, if left untreated, would: degrade the State’s natural resources; impact public drinking water supplies, present ongoing
pollution risks to surface and groundwater; pose threats to production facilities, impair farm safety; affect the land’s productive capacity; or present challenges to farm production that are too costly to implement without state assistance.
Farmers in eligible counties should contact their local Soil and Water District. A list of NYS Soil and Water Conservation District county offices can be found under Regional links on the right.