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Posted: Saturday, February 11th, 2012 8:49 AM HST

Disaster declaration for vog damage renewed

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Continuing vog has caused extensive damage to Big Island vegetable crops, like leafy greens, orchards, flowers and ranch grasses.

In response, U.S. Department of Agriculture has renewed a disaster declaration for Hawaii Island due to agricultural damage caused by Kiluaea Volcano emissions.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie requested a renewal on Dec. 27, citing continuing vog-related agricultural production losses.

The declaration gives Big Island farmers and ranchers access to apply for emergency loans to cover the cumulative effects of vog on crops and livestock, Abercrombie said. This disaster assistance has been available since 2008.

In addition to plant damage, ranchers have reported premature corrosion of fencing, gates and other metal infrastructure from volcanic emissions.

For more information, call the USDA Farm Service Agency's Hilo office at (808) 933-8381 extension 2.

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