The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated six New York counties, including Cayuga, as primary natural disaster areas after a windstorm in January. 

The designation allows farms to seek emergency loans through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. The loans can be used for certain purposes, including the replacement of equipment and livestock. 

Cayuga was one of the hardest hit areas of the state. The windstorm, with gusts of more than 60 mph, downed power lines and trees. The high winds damaged the roof of the Cayuga County Office Building. 

The primary counties covered by the declaration are Allegany, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Franklin, Jefferson and Oswego. Contiguous counties near the primary areas are also eligible for funding. Those counties are Cattaraugus, Clinton, Cortland, Erie, Essex, Hamilton, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, St. Lawrence, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne and Wyoming. 

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The deadline to apply for loans is March 31, 2025. According to the USDA, the Farm Service Agency will review loans based on the operation’s losses, repayment ability and security available. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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