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Farmers' flood fallout

Jerusalem, N.Y. -- The water has receded from Yates County streets and fields, but farmers were merely starting to assess the damage to their fields Tuesday.

Jeff Dann's 38-acre farm in Guyanoga Valley was damaged by washout from two floods that peeled away rich topsoil, covered prime farmland with rocks and other debris and carved an enormous gully.

"Runoff water from upslope just plugged culverts and water ran directions where it just normally doesn't," said Tom Eskildsen from the Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Dann said he's still in disbelief about the damage at his corn and soybean farm.

"I enjoy working this land," he said. "To have this happen, it's just mind blowing."

Eskildsen said he has heard reports of damage to bridges, driveway crossings and a vineyard, but none as severe as on Dann's property.

"I normally finish planting all my crops by Memorial Day," said Dann. "We've barely started."

He's taking advice from the New York Farm Bureau and other agencies, but said there is little he can do at the moment.

Eskildsen recommended farmers document all damage and clean related costs. The Farm Bureau is working with farmers to get disaster relief aid through the United States Department of Agriculture.

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Washington Times