By Maui Now Staff
The US Department of Agriculture renewed a disaster declaration for Hawai’i Island due to ongoing volcanic emissions from the Kilauea Volcano.
The declaration comes on the heels of a request from Governor Neil Abercrombie on December 27, 2011, citing continued agricultural production losses caused by vog.
“Many farmers and ranchers on Hawai’i Island continue to have a difficult time with the cumulative effects of vog on their crops and livestock operations,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “The federal disaster designation renews our access to emergency federal loans and other assistance programs in this ongoing situation.”
Under the federal declaration, Hawai’i County agricultural producers have the opportunity to apply for emergency loans due to damage caused by volcanic emissions.
The disaster assistance has been provided for Hawai’i Island agricultural producers since 2008.
Agricultural damages suffered by Hawai’i County farmers include damage to: leafy green vegetable crops, some orchard crops, as well as flowers and foliage.
Ranchers have also experienced adverse impacts on range grasses and premature corrosion of fencing, gates and other metal infrastructure.
Agricultural producers in Hawai’i County who want to apply for emergency loans under the declaration, must do so before August 2012.
For more information, contact the Hilo office of the USDA Farm Service Agency at (808) 933-8381 extension 2.