JAVA, N.Y. (WIVB) – There’s help on the way for local dairy farmers, but Senator Charles Schumer says that’s not enough.
The recently passed Farm Bill creates a new dairy insurance program that’s critical for farmers in Western New York. But Senator Schumer says those farmers need to learn more about the program before it takes effect.
He wants the USDA to set up informational meetings before the September enrollment deadline.
“That’s what I’m here to do, to light a fire under the USDA to get their people out now, get the website up now, so everybody by the summer knows what they want, and in September they’ll be able to start with it right away,” he said.
Joan Petzen of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County added, “The big thing is, before it was either sign up or don’t sign up. There was not a lot of decision that had to be made. Now they have to decide what level of coverage, look at the different costs of coverage. So it’s a more complicated decision than it was in the past.”
The new insurance program is expected to provide better coverage and helps farmers when milk prices drop or feed prices rise.