Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I – Schoharie) is reminding the farm community that applications for the NYS Dairy Assistance Program are due by April 27.
“It is critical that our farm families apply as soon as possible to ensure that they are able to take advantage of this assistance,” stated Lopez. “Too many have been struggling to maintain their production and keep their heads above water. It is vital that they receive this state aid.”
All New York State dairy producers who produced milk in 2006 and were in operation as of April 1, 2007 are eligible, and need to complete and sign their application, then return it to the Department. Those mailed in must be postmarked no later than April 27.
The rate of payment is expected to be between $.30 and $.35 per hundredweight, with a maximum of $16,000 per producer. Eligible milk production up to 4.8 million pounds produced in 2006 will qualify. Dumped milk for which a producer receives an insurance indemnity and milk dumped on the farm by order of any state officer or employee shall not be eligible.
Over 6,000 dairy farmers in New York are eligible for part of the $30 million in assistance. Applications are being mailed out to producers through their cooperative or processors. Those farmers who do not belong to a cooperative can obtain an application at their county Farm Service Agency office, online at www.agmkt.state.ny.us or may call the Department at (800) 554-4501.
Payments are expected to be mailed by May 9 to all eligible farmers who provide complete applications, so expediency in submitting applications is imperative, noted Lopez.
“I know our dairy farmers continue to struggle. While I’m pleased that they will receive this support, there is much left to do in order to stabilize agriculture in Upstate New York,” Lopez said. “I will continue to fight for our farms and farm families who are the backbone of New York’s economy.”