Gillibrand urges USDA to pay farmers safety net premiums

NEW YORK – After a two-year slump in milk prices nationwide, the United States Department of Agriculture is being urged to pay insurance premiums that are owed to dairy farmers.

On Friday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on the USDA to help offset the cost of dairy production by reimbursing premiums and fees back to dairy farmers.

Of the nearly $73 million in premiums and fees collected through the USDA’s Dairy Margin Protection Program in 2015, the USDA returned just $700,000 (or .1 percent) to farmers who purchased coverage. The remainder is to be returned to the U.S. Treasury.

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