(WBNG) – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is pushing for a “price floor” for milk to help dairy farmers in New York State deal with plunging milk prices.
The senator on Tuesday announced the proposal, dubbed the “Dairy Farm Sustainability Act. The legislation would set a so-called price floor for milk at $23.34 per hundredweight.
Sen. Gillibrand's office explains that when milk prices drop below the price floor, a payment to dairy farms would be made to stabilize farm operations.
“Historically low milk prices are devastating New York’s dairy farming communities, and this legislation would improve the existing safety net to stabilize these farms during periods of very low milk prices,” Sen. Gillibrand's office explained in a press release.
The senator's office notes the legislation would work alongside the Margin Protection Program (MPP) and would reinstate provisions of older dairy programs.
"The current MPP program would continue to operate for dairy farmers’ milk prices when they are above the ‘price floor’, but during periods of very low milk prices, the Dairy Farm Sustainability Act would pay eligible farmers 45 percent of the difference between $23.34 per hundredweight and the current All Milk price,” according to a press release from the Senator's office.
Under the Dairy Farm Sustainability Act, farms which participate in the MPP would be eligible for payments on up to the first five million pounds of production.
Chele Farley, who is challenging Sen. Gillibrand in this fall's election offered the following statement in response to the proposal:
"Kirsten Gillibrand wants more subsidies for the very largest producers while doing nothing to improve the safety net for our state's struggling family farms. She has failed to recover $40 billion-plus annually in lost tax dollars for New York State and she will continue to fail to address the decline in net farm income from the Hudson Valley to the North Country. It's convenient that do-nothing Senator Kirsten Gillibrand only rediscovers her 'Upstate lens' when she's begging for votes."