There were droughts, floods, a hurricane, a tropical storm, hail, high winds and snow on Halloween.

But the York County farmers who suffered through the weather of 2011 are eligible for federal disaster relief funds, the U.S. Farm Service Agency recently announced.

York was one of 21 "primary disaster counties" in Pennsylvania listed by the agency, which will soon start accepting applications for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program, or SURE.

To be eligible, farmers must have lost at least 10 percent of their crops to a natural disaster in 2011. They must also have an insurance policy under the

Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for all economically significant crops.

Farmers can apply at the York County Farm Service Agency office between Oct. 22 and June 7, and there are likely to be lots of York County farmers who are eligible, said Richard Csutoras, director of that office.

'Weird year:' "It was a weird year," Csutoras said. "We had some loss early in the summer from the dry spell, then we had all the rain in the fall ... and early snow."

He said floods in the southern part of the county, particularly along the Susquehanna River, caused flooding that damaged crops during Tropical Storm Lee. There were also isolated areas across the county where tributaries swelled and flooded fields, he said.


Hurricane Irene produced winds that blew over corn. The agency estimates 17 percent of the corn in the county was lost because of Irene, mostly in the southern part of the county. There was also damage to soybeans, about 3 percent of the county's crop, Csutoras said.

In the summer, at least one fish farmer lost fish, which is considered a crop, because of the heat.

"The water was over 90 degrees," he said. "It was actually cooking the fish."

He encouraged farmers who think they might be eligible to call and make an appointment by calling 755-2966, ext. 2.

"It doesn't hurt them to apply," he said. "We can run spreadsheet to see if they get anything."

-- Reach Christina Kauffman at