STATEWIDE -- Dairy farms across the state continue to struggle in the tough economy. Low prices combined with rising expenses are forcing farmers into the red. Congressman Scott Murphy is proposing legislation to help ease the crisis in the dairy industry.
Murphy unveiled his two-tiered plan to help at the Saratoga County Fair this weekend. The plan would increase payments to help small farmers when prices are significantly below the cost of production.
The current federal program pays 45 percent of the difference between the estimated cost of production and what people are paying in stores. Murphy wants to increase that number to 90 percent.
The second part of his plan would eliminate 200,000 cows to bring supply down to meet demand.
"It's as bad a time as there's been in a long time. We saw prices up in the low 20's per hundred weight two years ago. You know we're down in the $12 range now and that is unsustainable for our dairy farmers here in Saratoga County, in Washington County where my family used to have a dairy farm and all over New York and frankly all over the country,” said Scott Murphy.
Murphy says historically, there is a push back from the beef cattle industry, but this time, he says he has wide spread support for the multi-tiered approach.