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Sen. Wyden seeks aid for vineyards hit by wildfire smoke

Sen. Ron Wyden requested that any year-end funding bill include an extension of the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to provide compensation for wine-grape growers.

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 3:17 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A U.S. senator from Oregon is asking the Senate to provide federal assistance to vineyards that suffered smoke exposure from wildfires.

Sen. Ron Wyden requested that any year-end funding bill include an extension of the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to provide compensation for wine-grape growers.

In a letter Friday to Senate appropriations committee, Wyden also asked for $5.25 million of new funding for research on the effects of smoke exposure to wine grapes. He noted that many purchasers told growers their smoke-tainted grapes are not acceptable for winemaking. That forced growers to leave their grapes on the vine or sell them for vastly reduced prices.

Some growers in southern Oregon were affected by cancellations.

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