Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is urging the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to assist dairy farmers across the state who have seen the sale of milk and other dairy products decline dramatically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Commissioner Richard Ball, Senator Gallivan said actions taken by the government to control the spread of the virus has forced schools, restaurants and other venues to close, dramatically reducing the demand for milk products. Many farmers have been forced to discard their milk.
The problem has been exacerbated by grocery stores and other retailers limiting the number of milk and other dairy products consumers can purchase.
"There is no shortage of milk and no reason for farmers to have to dump their product while stores are limiting sales," Senator Gallivan said. "I encourage the department to look into this issue and provide guidance to farmers and retailers to better match supply and demand."
Agriculture is one of New York's leading industries and dairy is the largest segment with more than 4,000 dairy farms across the state. Wyoming County leads the state in dairy production.