Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I – Springport) has signed onto legislation that will help provide relief to farmers and apple growers throughout the Southern Tier whose crops have been devastated by this year’s unusual weather. The bill provides for a specialized tax credit for the 2011 and 2012 filing years that will allow a farmer to claim up to 35 percent of their losses, compared to the average yield of an acre of their crop.
“Local apple growers, such as Beak and Skiff Apple Farms and Owen Orchards, have seen their crops dwindle because of the unusual weather patterns we have witnessed this year,” said Finch. “I have long stated that farmers are the backbone of our communities, and, as such, we must do all that we can to support them.”
Assemblyman Finch noted that late frosts in the months of March and April have wreaked havoc on apple orchards across the state. Some growers have lost upward of 75% of their crops as a result. This will greatly reduce the supply of apples across the state and the country, and has left many farms in dire financial straits.
The bill will apply to other crops as well, including strawberries, squash, pumpkins and a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables grown in New York.
“Local farmers provide us with fresh food to eat and stimulate their local economies. They are vital to our communities,” said Finch. “They’re facing hard times now, and we need to provide them with significant relief as they move forward with the season.”