State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C - Schenectady) reminds dairy farmers the deadline is near for applications to the new State Dairy Assistance Program, a $30 million program that was included in the 2007-08 State budget to provide immediate financial relief to dairy farmers. The application deadline is April 27th, with payments expected to be disbursed beginning May 9th.
"The State Senate pushed for funding for dairy farmers in the State budget because they are facing tremendous financial challenges right now with high energy and feed costs, floods occurring on a regular basis lately, and low milk prices," Senator Farley said. "This relief plan is critical to the future of the dairy industry in New York State. It will help farmers reduce expenses and increase farm stability."
The State Department of Agriculture and Markets has begun distributing applications to dairy farmers for this funding. Those who have not received an application may download one from the website www.agmkt.state.ny.us, or call toll-free at (800) 554-4501.
"Farming is one of the top industries in this State, with dairy alone being a $3 billion industry," Senator Farley said.
The new Dairy Assistance Program is similar to an initiative used in the State of Vermont and will pay eligible farmers the difference between target prices established by the Agriculture Commissioner and the combined Northeast Federal Order Statistical Uniform Price, plus the amount of the Milk Income Loss Contract X payment rate on a per-hundredweight basis. Dairy producers will receive payments from the State in the form of a separate check based on pounds of milk produced during the 2006 calendar year.