State requests federal disaster declarations for fruit crops, maple syrup harvests
MADISON Gov. Scott Walker requested two federal agricultural disaster declarations for Wisconsin to help farmers that sustained losses this spring and summer as a result of extreme weather conditions that impacted fruit trees and the maple syrup collection, according to a press release from his office.
Walker requested the Secretary Disaster Declarations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The first request is for the entire state for the anticipated fruit tree losses. The extreme weather this spring impacted Wisconsin's fruit trees, including apples and cherries. Unseasonably hot temperatures in March caused many trees and vines to flower early, but frost conditions in April killed many fruit buds. Agriculture officials estimate statewide losses could potentially be as high as 80 percent.
In addition, state agriculture officials report that the maple syrup losses were greater than 30 percent this spring as a result of the early warm weather in March followed by a cold April. The counties listed in the request for maple syrup losses are Barron, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Pierce, Polk, St Croix, Shawano and Vilas.
Walker made the requests based on information provided by the State Emergency Board. The requests, if successful, could help Wisconsin farmers qualify for federal assistance.