Gillibrand: change the way dairy farmers get paid

4/3/2013 12:15 AM
By Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says the federal government needs to change the way dairy farmers get paid for their milk.

Many dairy farmers in New York continue to struggle with high feed costs despite new demand from upstate yogurt makers. Gillibrand says there were nearly 65,000 fewer dairy cows in New York last year than there were in 2002.

Gillibrand says she will introduce a Senate bill that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study different methods of determining milk prices, including competitive pay pricing. Currently, federal marketing orders set minimum wholesale prices under a system that farmers complain can leave them producing milk at a loss.

She also supports legislation that would give farmers with 200 cows or less a guaranteed margin for their milk.

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