Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

August 14, 2007

Commissioner Announces Release of Final Dairy Payments

5,007 Dairy Producers Share $30 Million From the Dairy Assistance Program

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced that final payments under the New York State Dairy Assistance Program have been issued to 5,007 eligible dairy farmers statewide.

The Dairy Assistance Program, included in the 2007-08 State Budget, made $30 million available to dairy farmers who produced milk during the 2006 calendar year when milk prices were at extreme lows. As of today, all $30 million has been paid in the form of direct payments to dairy producers throughout New York State. The average total payment under the Dairy Assistance Program was $5,991.43.

All New York dairy farmers who produced milk in 2006 and were in operation as of April 1, 2007 were eligible to apply for the Dairy Assistance Program. In order to distribute the $30 million fairly and efficiently, the State issued two checks. Eligible dairy producers received an "advance payment" for eligible milk at $.35 per hundredweight in April. This announcement recognizes the "final payment" under the Dairy Assistance Program, which paid producers $.05672 per hundredweight on eligible milk in order to use the entire $30 million allotted to the program.

The Dairy Assistance Program did have a 4.8 million pound cap on eligible milk production. Roughly nine percent of the State’s dairy producers met the cap on production and received a maximum payment of $19,522.56.

"This program came at a critical time for dairy farmers and I am pleased that we were able to distribute the entire $30 million in a fair and swift manner," the Commissioner said. "It is my hope that these funds, coupled with the strong milk prices our farmers are receiving at the moment, will get dairy farmers back on their feet so we can continue to enjoy all the benefits dairy farms provide local Upstate communities."

"I want to thank Governor Spitzer and the Legislature for approving these funds, as well as my staff and the folks at ESDC for expediting this program for the benefit of more than 5,000 family farms statewide."

The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) began issuing electronic payments and paper checks of the "advance payment" to all eligible and approved producers on May 9, 2007. ESDC will begin issuing the "final payment" on August 7, 2007.

New York is the nation’s third largest dairy state with nearly 6,000 dairy farms and 640,000 dairy cows that produced nearly 12 billion pounds of milk annually. The average dairy farm in New York State is family owned and consists of 100 cows, producing an average of 18,879 pounds of milk per cow per year.

New York dairy farms contribute more than $1.9 billion, over half of the State’s total agricultural receipts, each year to the State’s economy. The dairy industry has some of the highest economic multipliers of any industry in New York State. For every new job created on a dairy farm, an additional 1.24 jobs are created in the local economy and an additional $.83 is spent in the community for every dollar of output on a dairy farm.

2007 Press Releases