Schumer on Vineyard Damage

Written By: Nick Quattrini
Schumer on Vineyard Damage

     HAMMONDSPORT, NY - [WENY]     Senator Schumer was in Hammondsport Monday afternoon, Schumer called on the US Department of Agriculture to help vineyards that sustained damage during the recent cold snap.
     Schumer said, "The first thing I am asking is for the department of agriculture to prime the pumps right now and get that tap money flowing, because our growers are going to want to replant quickly."
     Senator Charles Schumer talked about options that are available for vineyards if their crops were damaged by the recent cold snap that has hovered over the area, and he wants the US Department of Agriculture to be ready to assist.
     he first option is TAP, which stands for Tree Assistance Program. The program which is under the recently passed Farm Bill, provides reimbursements for trunk damage, covering the cost for replacement, pruning, and removal.
     Schumer said, "What about the buds? Well for that we have Disaster Assistance, these are low interest loans that help the farmers pay back, it would allow them to buy grapes and juice."
     These assistance programs could help vineyards get back on their feet if they sustained damage, with the scope and severity of the damage being visible around spring time.
     But Senator Schumer wants the USDA to be on standby, because damage is almost guaranteed, and Cornell scientists have found evidence suggesting over 50% of the buds could be damaged from the extreme cold, and with such a high level of bud damage, vine damage is also likely.
     Hans Walter-Peterson, a Viticulture Specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension said, "We've gotten low enough for long enough, enough times around the Fingerlakes, in other parts of New York, and other parts of the Country, where we are seeing some of those buds dying. And so when you lose those buds you still have the vine survive, but you wont see any fruit on them. "
     New York State is home to over 900, supporting more than 6,000 thousand jobs. Experts are predicting 2014 to be the worst grape season in 10 years.