Last Friday, New York State Ag Commissioner Patrick Hooker announced the details that will help dairy farmers in the state apply for direct cash assistance, now available from the $30-million N.Y. State Dairy Assistance Program. The payment will help cover dairy farm losses due to low prices in 2006.
"We realize that time is of the essence and our goal is to get this $30 million into the pockets of dairy farmers as soon and as fairly as possible. To guarantee every dairy farmer receives what they are entitled to under this program, farmers should not wait a single day to complete their application. Be sure to get your application for assistance completed accurately and in the mail by April 27."
All New York dairy farmers who produced milk in 2006 and were in operation as of April 1, 2007 are eligible to apply. Applications are being sent to producers through their cooperative or processor.
If you don't belong to a cooperative, you can obtain an application at your county Farm Service Agency office. Or you can download the application off the Department of Agriculture and Market's Web site: www.agmkt.state.ny.us. Or you can call, toll-free, for a copy by calling 800-554-4501.
The department will establish a rate of payment per hundredweight once applications are received. Payments will be calculated by dividing the available funds by the pounds of eligible milk produced in 2006.
It'll be calculated by multiplying the payment rate by the total number of pounds of milk produced in 2006, up to 4.8 million pounds. Payment rate is estimated to be in the range of $.30 to $.35 per hundredweight.
Payments are expected to be mailed by May 9, 2007. They'll be issued by the New York State Empire State Development Corporation. Should any funds remain after all eligible producers have been paid, they'll be distributed to producers in a subsequent payment.