Created: 02/17/2014 7:05 AM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press
With the harsh winter taking a toll on upstate New York grape vines, Sen. Charles Schumer is telling the federal government to get ready to help.
Schumer plans to be at the 21 Brix Winery in the Chautauqua County town of Portland Monday. Joined by several upstate winemakers, he will urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prepare to provide relief to vineyards should they need it.
It's too early to measure the full extent of the winter's toll on upstate's numerous vineyards, but growers say the brutal cold has killed a lot of buds on the vine and they fear extensive vine damage.
Schumer says the USDA should prepare to grant emergency help through the Tree Assistance Program that was just passed as part of the farm bill.