Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Hamburg, announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated all seven counties in her 26th Congressional District as natural disaster areas due to the extensive damage caused earlier this year by army worms.
The district includes Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Monroe and Wyoming counties.
The early arrival of warm weather last spring was blamed for the appearance of an unusually high number of army worms. Ordinarily, they arrive later in the season, when more of their natural predators are present.
“Farms seeking assistance will now be eligible for emergency loans to help them recover and keep their businesses viable,” Hochul said. For information, farmers should contact their local Farm Services Agency office or Cornell Cooperative Extension.