WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer revealed on Friday that he has secured an extension for the vital Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program dairy farmers rely on, that was set to expire this year, and which could've left farmers facing a "dairy cliff,' cutting off payments to farmers and harming consumers by raising the price of milk.
"I helped enact the Dairy Margin Coverage Program in the 2018 Farm Bill, and I am proud to have secured this vital year-long extension while we work to develop a bipartisan Farm Bill in the next year," said Senator Schumer.
"Today our dairy farmers can breathe a sigh of relief and raise a glass of Upstate NY-made milk and more thoroughly enjoy this Thanksgiving."
Schumer explained the "dairy cliff" refers to the expiration of the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, a risk management tool that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.
The dairy industry would be the first impacted, as dairy farmers would lose out on monthly payments through the DMC, whereas farmers participating in other support programs are paid just once per year around harvest time.
The dairy industry is one of New York's largest contributor to the agricultural economy.
According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Dairy statistics, there are approximately 3,200 dairy farms in New York that produce over 15 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nation's fifth largest dairy state.
Senator Schumer images.