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On the heels of what some are calling the worst winter since 2004, Senator Charles Schumer is calling for quick financial assistance from the USDA for Dutchess County growers with tree and crop damage. As several farmers deal with this dilemma, our Alexandra Weishaupt has more on how they hope to cope.
DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- “I've seen a lot of bad winters but this never came down before, and like I said it's been there for about 40 years,” said Mark Adams.
Mounting snow totals and endless winter storms, and Mark Adams’ greenhouse couldn’t withstand the weight. The roof caved in and collapsed atop a room full of pots ready for planting.
“This represents about 1 percent of the five acres that I have undercover, so it’s not a total loss, but we need every inch,” said Adams. “What we're going to do is prop it up temporarily just to get through the spring season, and then rebuild it in the summer.”
The damage left behind about $6,000 worth of destruction at the same time he and his crews worked to ready flower and vegetable plants for buyers.
“It’s a constant struggle. It’s not all that efficient when you’re spending half the day shoveling snow and breaking things out of the ground that are frozen to the ground,” said Adams.
Farmers all across the area are dealing with winter troubles. As they’ve just begun to assess the problems, many won’t know the full extent of the damage until the spring.
“Farmers are working so closely now that any kind of damage is the difference between making a living and not making a living,” said Adams. “There’s no room for error.”
Senator Schumer is aiding in the effort, calling for a swift response from the USDA, ensuring an expedient resolution.
“We simply want the USDA to be ready right away to give out that money,” said
An offering, if available, that Adams plans on taking advantage of.
“If there’s money available, if there are government loans available, just like any other business we’d be glad to take advantage of it,” said Adams.