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Calls to support farmers affected by Hurricane Dorian

Calls to support farmers affected by hurricane Dorian
WATCH: Farmers are continuing to assess the damage caused by hurricane Dorian that swept through the region over two weeks ago, and the opposition is calling on N.S. government to help. Alicia Draus has more.

A Progressive Conservative MP is calling on the Nova Scotia government to offer help to farmers affected by hurricane Dorian.

The storm swept through the region earlier this month causing damage all across the province, from uprooted trees, to downed power lines, to destroyed crops.

“The apple side of things, it did a lot of damage,” said William Spurr with Spurr Brothers Farms in Kingston Nova Scotia.

“It’s going to cost a lot to recover from that, but to assess all that it’s going to take awhile.”

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The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture is collecting data from its members to understand just how much damage was done. So far their estimates have already reached $10 million.

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“The big thing is it affected farmers across the province and pretty much every commodity was hit,” said federation president Victor Oulton.

It’s the second year in a row that’s been a challenge to many in the fruit industry. Last year an unusually late frost destroyed many crops.

To hep in their recovery, the Department of Agriculture offered a frost loss program. Now MP John Lohr wants to see something in place for those affected by Dorian.

“I want to hear their comment to keeping sustainable agriculture in the province,” he said. “We need good local agriculture for food sustainability.”

He says it’s something he will be bringing up when the legislature resumes sitting for the fall session.

“I don’t think it’s too early for them to be thinking about that.”

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Runoff from Dorian may impact fish spawning in N.B. rivers
Runoff from Dorian may impact fish spawning in N.B. rivers

The Department of Agriculture says they are already in the process of talking to farmers to assess the damage but have not made any requests for a federal assistance program as it’s too early and has to wait until a full assessment of the damage has been completed.

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For Spurr, any assistance that could be made available will be helpful.

“Crop insurance was a big help last year, but two years in a row, just the fact that premiums are going to go up and they might be unreachable,” he said.

“It’d be nice if the government saw that and helped us come up with a plan to move forward with that.”