Ag experts talk about flood crop losses

AFTON – About 80 producers drove through the falling rain Wednesday evening to Afton Village Hall in order to hear what agricultural experts - and each other - had to say about recovering crop land lost in the disastrous floods two weeks ago.

“They are here to ask the questions that are important to them in the presence of numerous experts and their farming neighbors,” said Keith Severson, associate director of Cornell Cooperative Extension. “Farmers think in creative ways and they value the opportunity to be able to learn from each other.”

Chenango County officials estimate that $8 million in crops spread over 132 farms in Chenango County were washed out in the torrential downpour on June 26 and 27. That, coupled with the 50 percent drop in milk prices since 2004, could force some to sell off cattle.

“We have heard of one person who already sold 250 head of cattle. It made good sense for them to cull those animals. It’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Robert Almeter, director, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

Nancy Richman of Bainbridge said she and her producer husband, Peter, lost 100 acres of corn and hay that they need to feed their 100 dairy cows. After assessing the damage with her crop insurance adjuster, she was surprised to learn that she could not replant corn.

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