Wind damage to caterpillar tunnel, 1000 Stone Farm, Brookfield, Vt. Kyle Doda
BLOWN COVERLESS: Here’s what’s left after the winds hit this caterpillar tunnel at 1000 Stone Farm at Brookfield, Vt.

Vermont farmers urged to report wind damage

More than 20 Vermont farms reported damages or problems caused by the high-wind fronts.

Two high-wind fronts that blew through Vermont late Sunday left one of every three Vermonters without power. Winds clocking up to 45 mph were documented.

By Tuesday afternoon, more than 20 Vermont farms reported damage or problems caused by the two wind fronts. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets expects that number to rise.

In many cases, agricultural structures like greenhouses, high tunnels, hoop barns and other mobile field shelters were significantly damaged. Several dairy farms were still using generators at mid-week to power milking operations, which presented additional logistical challenges. Vermont sugarmakers are also beginning to report damages to trees, pipelines and facilities.

The agency continues to encourage farmers to document any losses from the recent storm. Taking photos and keeping detailed records could be valuable information in calculating the storm’s economic impact.

Emergency financial assistance

The agency urges farmers seeking financial recovery assistance to apply for emergency loans as soon as possible. The Vermont Farm Fund, a program of the Center for an Agricultural Economy, offers an emergency loan program to help farmers recover from natural disasters. The program currently has around $70,000 in available funding. The maximum loan amount is $10,000 with 0% interest, payable over 24 months.

Once an application is submitted, most emergency loan requests are approved within 14 business days. To apply, download an application here. For additional information about the Vermont Farm Fund program, visit VermontFarmFund.org or contact the VFF Program Manager, Kate Stephenson, at [email protected].

If you need immediate assistance, want to report damage or have any questions, please call the agency’s emergency line at 802-241-5497, or the state assistance line 2-1-1. You can also email [email protected] or contact the agency at 802-828-2430.

Source: Vermont Agency of Agriculture

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