Schumer pushes for Dairy Margin Coverage Program in 2023 Farm Bill
Cayuga County is second in the state for milk production. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to see a key Farm Bill program renewed to keep dairy prospering in central New York.
Outside Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Auburn Wednesday, Schumer pushed for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program's inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill.
"It gives monthly payments to our dairy farmers when the cost of feed and the incoming costs are greater than the price of milk that milk will bring in," Schumer said. "Our farmers would go bankrupt except for this help."
Schumer said the program is a lifeline to farmers and without it, it could lead to supply chain disruptions and a loss of revenue into the economy.
Patterson Farms has been in Cayuga County since 1830. Julie Patterson says the Dairy Margin Coverage Program is integral to family farms of all sizes in a volatile dairy industry.
"Viability of dairy farms is crucial to our local rural economy and ensures the continued supply of safe, affordable, nutritious dairy products to consumers in New York state and beyond," Patterson said.
Schumer said they need a bipartisan push to help dairy farmers.
"If this were to go away, the price of milk would go up by a whole lot," Schumer said. "Not only milk, but all the things that milk is used in. Obviously, yogurt made right here in central New York, cream cheese made up in Lewis County, but so many other products. It would mean prices, which are high enough already, would go up."
The current farm bill is set to expire September 30.
"If it does expire, it would leave our dairy farmers without a safety net and cause a great crash in the economy here," Schumer said. "Because not only is the milk production here, but it employs many, many people, not only in milk production, but then our farmers go eat at the restaurants and shop in the stores and do everything else. It's a lifeline to our whole county."