Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) today announced the details of the Dairy Assistance Program that was enacted in this year’s state budget. The program provides $30 million in aid to dairy farmers statewide who have been hurt by below average milk prices and elevated operating costs.
The program provides cash payments to eligible dairy farmers equaling the difference of the target price established by the commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.
“A productive dairy farming industry is crucial to our region’s economy,” said Hawley. “The $30 million in aid will serve as a good step towards offering dairy farmers the relief they desperately need.”
Dairy producers will receive a separate check based on the pounds of milk produced in 2006. Payments will be made to eligible producers for up to 4.8 million pounds of milk produced using a payment rate that divided the available funds by the pounds of eligible milk production in 2006.
The payment rate is expected to be between $.30 and $.35 per hundredweight and the maximum amount a producer would receive is an estimated $16,000.
All New York state dairy producers who produced milk in 2006 and who were in operation as of April 1, 2007 are eligible. Producers who process their own milk are eligible to receive payment, as are organic dairy farmers. Sheep and goat milk does not qualify for the reimbursement.
Applications must be completed and postmarked no later than April 27, 2007. Payments will be mailed by May 9, 2007.
Hawley said that local producers who do not belong to a cooperative may obtain an application by calling his Albion office at (585) 589-5780. Producers can also download the application from the Department’s website at www.agmkt.state.ny.us.