- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Federal agriculture officials have declared 15 upstate New York counties as “primary natural disaster areas” because of this summer’s drought.

Sen. Charles Schumer says low-interest loans and other U.S. Department of Agriculture programs will be available to farmers who suffer losses because of the weather.

He says Tuesday that should ease concerns among operators of farms, vineyards, and orchards that they won’t have the cash to recover from crop losses.

The USDA declaration covers the counties of Cayuga, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wyoming and Yates.

Because they neighbor the declaration area, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Cortland, Onondaga, Orleans, Oswego and Wayne counties also qualify for assistance.

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