The USDA has declared a “crop disaster” for vineyards located in the counties of Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Oswego, Yates, Allegany, Cortland, Erie, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne and Wyoming New York.
This declaration will allow winemakers to apply for aid from an emergency loan program to rebuild crops destroyed by record low temperatures seen this winter due to the “Polar Vortex”. Temperatures were, on average, 40 degrees colder than normal.
The result is that most vineyards have experienced bud loss of 50% or more, and according to report in the New York Post, damages in the Finger Lakes region could exceed 75% to 90%.
Upstate New York is home to 900 vineyards which contribute around $830 million to the state’s economy. The financial assistance program covers up to 65% of the cost of replanting, and 50% of the cost for pruning and vine removal.
Let’s hope for the best to the folks in the wine industry in Upstate New