Albany-- State Senator Michael Nozzolio today reminded area dairy farmers that the deadline for applying for assistance through New York’s newly enacted Dairy Investment Act is Friday, April 27, 2007.
Applications are being mailed to producers statewide, but Senator Nozzolio stressed that anyone who hasn’t received one should immediately contact their local county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets toll-free at 1-800-554-4501. Applications are also availableby clickinghere.
Producers must complete, sign and mail their application to the Department by the April 27, 2007 deadline. Payments are expected to be issued on May 9th.
Recently, Senator Nozzolio was joined by area dairy farmers to announce the approval of the Dairy Investment Act, a $30 million program included in the 2007-2008 state budget that will provide direct and immediate relief to New York’s dairy farmers.
“As the State Senator representing one of the largest agricultural districts in New York, I know how important the dairy farm industry is to our region and our State,” said Senator Nozzolio. “It was a pleasure to fight to include this important funding in the State budget and I encourage all local dairy farmers to take advantage of the available financial assistance through the Dairy Investment Act.
Senator Nozzolio said that extremely low commodity prices have combined with high energy and feed costs, labor shortages and flooding to create a "perfect storm" scenario that has had a devastating economic impact on many milk producers. In addition, low milk prices, an outdated price control system administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the escalating cost of running a family farm have resulted in unprecedented losses for dairy farms statewide.
The Dairy Investment Act will provide direct payments to farmers based on a formula per hundredweight for milk produced in 2006. The program is similar to one used by other states including Vermont. For a family farm milking 50 cows, according to the state Farm Bureau, this one-time payment will total approximately $3,100. An operation with 120 cows will receive approximately $7,500.
Up to 95 percent of New York’s dairy farms milk less than 250 cows.