Langworthy bill would help grape farmers

Local Congressman Nick Langworthy recently introduced legislation to assist grape farmers.

Langworthy floated the Grape Research and Protection Expansion Act, aka the GRAPE Act. The legislation aims to provide comprehensive crop insurance for grape growers who suffer losses due to freeze events, addressing a significant gap in current agricultural support policies.

“Grape growers in Western New York and the Southern Tier are vital to our local economy and our nation’s agricultural sector — the GRAPE Act will ensure they have the necessary resources to recover from the devastating impact of unexpected freezes,” said Langworthy.

“In April, the Lake Erie grape belt experienced a hard frost, causing substantial damage that threatened the entire crop, resulting in major financial losses for local producers,” he said. “Because of this, I am committed to fighting for the inclusion of this provision in the upcoming Farm Bill to provide grape growers across the United States with affordable crop insurance, safeguarding their livelihoods and ensuring the continued success of our agricultural communities.”

The GRAPE Act is intended to:

– Mandate the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to develop a policy specifically for insuring table, wine, and juice grapes against losses due to freeze events.

– Require ongoing research to ensure the insurance policy is robust, effective, and meets the unique needs of grape growers.

– Provide grape growers with an affordable safety net, reducing the financial impact of freeze-related losses.

Langworthy also recently led a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary urging the approval of New York State’s disaster declaration for the April 25 freeze experienced by Western New York grape growers.

Langworthy’s congressional district has more than 130,000 acres of grape producing land. The grape industry provides 9,597 jobs in the district, including tourism and similar jobs created by vineyards.

New York is the nation’s second-largest Concord grape producer, and the Lake Erie Concord Belt is the oldest and largest Concord grape-growing region in the world.


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