Watch Shaheen’s remarks in full here.
(Washington, DC) — Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor urging Congress to provide disaster assistance for New Hampshire farmers impacted by agricultural disasters. Last May, a late-season frost hit New Hampshire, severely impacting orchards, and was later declared a disaster by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. These floor remarks follow the Senator’s recent visit to Apple Hill Farm in Concord, New Hampshire, where she spoke to farmers and local officials about the devastating economic impact of this year’s weather disasters on New Hampshire growers.
- “New Hampshire growers have faced an unprecedentedly difficult year. My office has been hearing from apple growers who lost 80-100 percent of their crop this year, as well as from New Hampshire growers who lost up to 100 percent on other crops, such as peaches, pears, plums, blueberries, strawberries, grapes and cherries.”
- “I hope we can come together to support appropriations bills, but I also hope we can come together to provide urgently needed relief funding for our farmers – those who’ve been so affected in New Hampshire and New England.”
Remarks as delivered can be found below.
I come to the floor today to discuss the urgent need for Congress to provide relief for recent agricultural disasters.
And I appreciate the circumstances around the appropriations process changed somewhat since we prepared these remarks, but what I really want to do this afternoon is to highlight the devastating experiences of New Hampshire growers this year and explain why it’s so urgent for them – for Congress to provide disaster relief.
In New Hampshire, our growers have faced an unprecedented difficult year.
A late frost the evening of May 18th caused enormous damage to fruit crops across New Hampshire, but especially to our apple orchards.
And these photos really depict what happened to most of the apple crop in New Hampshire.
You can see these almost look like chestnuts – they are so small and stunted and brown and this — you can barely make out – is an apple.
And you can see the size of them, based on the impact from the frost.
This event followed an extreme freeze in February that wiped out virtually 100 percent of our peach crops and other stone fruits.
My office has been hearing from apple growers who lost 80-100 percent of their crop this year, as well as from New Hampshire growers who lost up to 100 percent on other crops, such as peaches, pears, plums, blueberries, strawberries, grapes and cherries.
And for people who think: well, you don’t have that many orchards in New Hampshire. Well, we have the largest apple orchard in New England, in New Hampshire.
This is a big concern for our farmers in the state and they make up a considerable percentage of our small businesses.
So what we have seen is total crop losses for some growers, and near total losses for others.
The business impact of such catastrophic damage goes beyond the direct cost of the damage to crops.
Because in New Hampshire, we have a strong tradition – as I know they do in other states — of…
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