Aug 6, 2010 7:00 PM by Greg Boyce

Governor requests help for melon farmers

Gov. Bill Ritter Friday announced he has requested federal disaster assistance for Otero and Montrose counties where freezing temperatures and severe hail affected crops.

Gov. Ritter sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking for Secretarial Disaster Designation.

In Otero County, frost and freezing temperatures devastated melon production. The initial freeze happened on May 13, 2010. Hail and high winds struck the area on May 14, May 18, June 11, 12 and 14. The Otero County Emergency Board estimates that nearly 50 percent of melon crops were damaged or destroyed.

Montrose County suffered freezing temperatures during the last week of April, 2010 that claimed up to 100 percent of the sweet cherry crop.



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