MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The deputy secretary of the Vermont Agriculture Agency says she's hopeful the state's dairy farmers will be able to use most of their cow corn inundated by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene.

But Diane Bothfeld says there's "zero tolerance" for fruits and vegetable crops intended for human consumption that were flooded.

The agency's preliminary estimate says about 10,000 acres of crops were affected by flood waters following the Aug. 28 passage of Irene.

Bothfeld says the safety of farmers' cow corn will have to be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Rains that have fallen since Tropical Storm Irene's passage have helped wash the stalks clean of contaminants.

She says farmers who are preparing to harvest the cow corn now should separate it from corn that was not contaminated.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.