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agriculture

Apple harvest gets started with sizable crop expected in NY

Posted 29 August 2018 at 4:27 pm

Press Release, New York Apple Association

Photo by Tom Rivers – This photo from October 2015 shows apples in an orchard on East State Street near the Butts Road intersection in Albion.

New York City may be the original “Big Apple” but the entire state of New York is worthy of the name too, based on the New York Apple Association’s recent fall harvest estimate. NYAA forecasts New York apple growers will produce 31 million 42-pound cartons of apples this fall, an estimate that is up slightly over last year and on par with the state’s five-year average.

“New York apple lovers know our apples taste great but what they may not realize is just how big our state industry is in the larger picture,” said NYAA President Cynthia Haskins. “New York is the second largest apple producing state in the nation, and the largest east of the Mississippi but that’s not all. Our distinctive flavor gives us a competitive advantage and it is produced by the ideal growing conditions in New York which are unique to our state.”

Apple production in New York takes place on 41,000 acres spanning the state – in orchards near you – where hundreds of varieties are grown. It is likely more varieties than are grown here than anywhere else in the country and most varieties are only available at farm markets and you-pick operations.

A diverse array of New York varieties is also available in retail stores. These include iconic favorites like New York McIntosh; legendary “born in New York” varieties like Empire and Cortland; the popular Honeycrisp and Gala; and exciting new managed varieties like SweeTango and the two “exclusive to New York” varieties, RubyFrost and SnapDragon.

To encourage New Yorkers to enjoy all the apple industry in New York state has to offer, NYAA maintains a locator map on its website, www.nyapplecountry.com, which finds orchards, you-pick operations and cideries by zip code.

NYAA will be engaging with people across New York this fall with pop-up exhibits at Green Markets throughout New York City in September and October. The organization is also sponsoring the Big Apple Crunch, a statewide event involving public schools and millions of New Yorkers biting into a New York Apple at precisely 2 p.m. on Thursday, October 25. NYAA partners with the FarmOn! Foundation to support the event and recently distributed a variety of posters to 780 school districts throughout the state to raise awareness around New York apples and apple products.

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Growers urged to be on lookout after Late Blight detected in Genesee County

Posted 29 August 2018 at 10:08 am

Press Release, Cornell Vegetable Program

Photo from USA blight

Late blight, a devastating airborne disease of tomatoes and potatoes, was detected in Genesee County on Tuesday. Late blight is best known for causing the Irish Potato famine. Late blight is caused by a fungus-like organism that spreads dozens of miles on storm fronts.

Late blight can kill plants in just one week. Disease spots are often dark gray to brown in color and may or may not have a ring of pale green tissue around them. They are typically irregular in shape and size, and frequently become as large as a quarter. Leaf spots will often have small fuzzy white spores on the underside of the leaf in wet and humid conditions.

Late blight will put dark brown to black smears on plant stems. Tomato fruit may also develop large, firm, greasy-looking, brown, gray, or black smears on the upper part of the fruit. Late blight does not resemble lower leaves that yellow and contain numerous small black specks. Potato leaves show dark spots with fuzzy white spores on the underside during humid weather. Potato stems show similar lesions to those seen in tomato.

As this disease is aggressive and very damaging to area farmers, Cornell Cooperative Extension asks that anyone suspecting they have late blight please contact their local CCE office for assistance. In Orleans County, the office can be reached at 585-798-4265. Commercial vegetable farmers may contact the Cornell Vegetable Program at 585-406-3419.

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USDA has funds for farmers hurt in tariff battles

Posted 29 August 2018 at 7:47 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Corn is shown in Barker in this photo from August 2013.

Press Release, USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced details of actions the U.S. Department of Agriculture will take to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation by foreign nations.

President Donald J. Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. As announced last month, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with our World Trade Organization obligations.

“Early on, the President instructed me, as Secretary of Agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs,” Perdue said. “After careful analysis by our team at USDA, we have formulated our strategy to mitigate the trade damages sustained by our farmers. Our farmers work hard, and are the most productive in the world, and we aim to protect them.”

These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets:

• USDA’s Farm Service Agency will administer the Market Facilitation Program to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers starting September 4, 2018. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted.

The Market Facilitation Program will boost revenues by $4.6963 billion for farmers. Soybeans account for the bulk of the funds at $3.6297 billion or $1.65 per bushel. Corn growers will get 1 cent per bushel for an estimated $96 million total, while dairy farmers receive 12 cents per hundredweight for $127.4 million. Wheat growers will get 14 cents per bushel or $119.2 million. (Click here for more information on other crops.)

• USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will administer a Food Purchase and Distribution Program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service will distribute these commodities through nutrition assistance programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program and child nutrition programs.

The federal government plans to buy $93.4 million worth of apples, $84.9 million in dairy, $14.8 million worth of beef, $48.2million in grapes, $44.5 million in potatoes, and other crops that total $1.2388 billion.

• Through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, $200 million will be made available to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. The program will help U.S. agricultural exporters identify and access new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ restrictions.

Background on Market Facilitation Program:

MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and administered by FSA. For each commodity covered, the payment rate will be dependent upon the severity of the trade disruption and the period of adjustment to new trade patterns, based on each producer’s actual production.

Interested producers can apply after harvest is 100 percent complete and they can report their total 2018 production. Beginning September 4th of this year, MFP applications will be available online at www.farmers.gov/mfp. Producers will also be able to submit their MFP applications in person, by email, fax, or by mail.

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Despite recent rains, Orleans still in moderate drought

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2018 at 1:08 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The farm fields and grass in Orleans County are greener after some recent rains. This photo shows a historical marker in Gaines, just west of the Gaines Basin Road bridge, which is the northernmost point on the canal. The sign was recently repainted by students in Tim Archer’s seventh grade service learning class at Albion, with Melissa Ierlan of Clarendon doing the lettering.

Orleans County farmers breathed a big sigh of relief with about an inch of rain two weeks ago, followed by another sizable rainfall.

But there hasn’t been much rain since. Orleans County, in fact, remains in a moderate drought, according to The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“The rain we got was very, very beneficial, said Larry Meyer, director of the Farm Service Agency in Orleans and Monroe counties.

The rain helped corn to grow and pollinate, and many farmers planted cabbage, cucumbers and green beans in last two weeks.

But with another dry spell, the groundwater is starting to get used up.

“We haven’t had the rain to make everything look real healthy,” Meyer said. “It’s been raining to the south of us. But our section in Niagara, Orleans and part of Monroe, it’s been skipping us.”

State-wide, New York is in better shape now than last week. As of Tuesday, 40.7 percent of NY was considered abnormally dry (down from 72.5 percent on July 24). The percentage considered in moderate drought didn’t change much, from 20.23 percent on July 24 to 20.08 percent on July 31, according to the Drought Monitor.

In Western New York, the area with moderate drought includes all of Orleans, most of Niagara and some of the western end of Monroe County.

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County’s Ag District adds 116 acres

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2018 at 11:00 am

ALBION — The Orleans County Consolidated Agricultural District is growing by 115.66 acres.

The County Legislature last week held a public hearing on the additions for the countywide district. The Legislature then approved the acreage for the Ag District.

The changes go for a final OK in Albany by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets. That is expected in September or October.

The additions include:

• 4.10 acres on Greenman Road in the Town of Yates, which are owned by Sandy Knoll Farms

• 44.10 acres on Gray Road in the Town of Barre, owned by the Barre Sportsmen’s Club

• 0.86 acre on Gaines Waterport Road in Gaines, owned by Robin L. Root

• 54.80 acres on Gaines Waterport Road in Gaines, owned by Robin L. Root

• 11.80 acres on Horan Road in Ridgeway, owned by Timothy D. Marker.

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NY has boosted ag sales, including apples and cabbage, to Puerto Rico

Posted 24 July 2018 at 5:48 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new agricultural trade partnerships between New York and Puerto Rico to strengthen both the Puerto Rican economy and the ties between the two communities as Puerto Rico continues to recover and rebuild.

The Governor pledged to help Puerto Rico rebuild their agriculture and food supply systems, and work with local farmers, the University of Puerto Rico, and other partners to provide technical assistance and expertise to rebuild the industry. Ten months after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, agricultural trade between New York and Puerto Rico is rapidly growing with the expansion of New York-grown apples, cabbages, and onions into Puerto Rico and watermelon, mangoes, and pumpkins grown in Puerto Rico becoming available in New York. Conservative estimates say these agricultural trade opportunities will exceed well over $1 million in economic benefit to both New York and Puerto Rico.

The Governor made the announcement while in Puerto Rico leading a delegation of SUNY and CUNY presidents and students, as well as nonprofit partners, labor leaders, and elected officials, to support the ongoing efforts on the island. This trip marks the Governor’s fifth trip to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, and part of the third deployment of SUNY and CUNY student volunteers since the initiative began.

“The people of Puerto Rico are our brothers and sisters and in the face of the federal government’s ongoing neglect, New York will continue to do everything in our power to help them rebuild their economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This agricultural partnership will create opportunities for local farmers, stimulate economic growth, and help this vital sector recover, and will further strengthen the ties between Puerto Rico and the great state of New York.”

As established in the Build Back Better report assessing the hurricane damage, Hurricanes Irma and Maria severely impacted Puerto Rico’s agricultural sector, primarily made up of small, family-owned farms, with approximately 80 percent of the crop value destroyed, a loss of nearly $250 million to the Puerto Rico economy. The destruction of planted crops caused a loss of locally grown foods, limiting nutritional options, driving up food costs and contributing to food insecurity. In addition, over 2.2 million animals were lost to the storm and the agricultural infrastructure experienced damages in excess of $1.8 billion. This represents 40 percent of the total value.

As with Puerto Rico’s other rebuilding efforts, New York State is committed to helping Puerto Rico rebuild their agriculture and food supply systems stronger than before. Governor Cuomo will launch a comprehensive, targeted effort to work with local farmers, the University of Puerto Rico and other partners to assess immediate needs, provide technical assistance for short-term solutions and develop a strategic plan to bolster the agricultural industry, support food security and grow the Puerto Rico’s economy. As part of this initiative, the Governor will convene a team of experts, led by Commissioner Ball, that will meet with partners at SOMOS.

These actions will focus on:

• increased trade and exchange of food and agricultural commodities between Puerto Rico and New York,

• co-ventures in food innovation

• food security for underserved populations and exploring the development of food banks

• collaboration on best practices in food and beverage safety, as well as, standards and technical guidance for food safety.

Caribbean Produce, Puerto Rico’s largest produce distributor, has thus far imported 186,200 pounds of apples from across New York – including Rome, Empire, Red Delicious, Gala, Snap Dragon and McIntosh apples from New York Apples Sales and Hudson River Fruit. Caribbean Produce has also imported 126,000 pounds of cabbage from Torrey Farms in Elba, Genesee County, and 84,000 pounds of onions from Minkus Family Farms in New Hampton, Orange County, with plans to import New York-grown potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, and more produce. Caribbean Produce is currently distributing Red Jacket Orchard juice from Geneva, Ontario County. Hudson River Fruit, Red Jacket Orchard and Minkus Family Farm are all a part of the State’s New York State Grown & Certified program.

New York has imported 100,000 pounds of seedless watermelons from Finca González and Soto Farms in Guánica, Puerto Rico, sold at retail in the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, with additional containers planned in the weeks and months ahead. Caribbean Produce will soon export tropical pumpkin to New York from Finca Gonzalez, as well as mangoes from Gan Eden Farm in Santa Isabel. By conservative estimates, these partnerships will generate well over $1 million in economic impact in both New York and Puerto Rico in the long term.

Gan Eden Farm was one of the working sites for State University of New York Maritime, SUNY Albany and SUNY ESF students deployed as part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

These partnerships are made possible by the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism opened by Governor Cuomo in November 2015 in Old San Juan. NYSOTT promotes mutually beneficial tourism opportunities and strengthens economic ties between the state and the island. NYSOTT also operates the New York State Discovery Center, a Taste NY and I LOVE NY store promoting New York-made and produced products.

The distribution of Saratoga Spring Water, Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water and Roxy Mountain Maple Products in Puerto Rico also builds on a number of initiatives announced by Governor Cuomo in September 2015 designed to help Puerto Rico expand its economy and foster a mutually beneficial economic development relationship between Puerto Rico and New York State, including opportunities for business and technology development, agriculture, energy and infrastructure.

New York State and Puerto Rico have been actively engaged in conversations to grow and expand trade opportunities between New York businesses and Puerto Rico and vice versa.

“The Department was so pleased to be a part of the Governor’s Agriculture Trade Forum several years ago, where we had meaningful, positive conversations with our friends in Puerto Rico about the opportunities to work together,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “Today, while we stand strong alongside Puerto Rico during their recovery, I am proud to see that those discussions are now resulting in actions that will not only provide a boost to their rebuilding efforts but also be the bridge to new markets for New York growers.”

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Collins applauds emergency aid for farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs

Posted 24 July 2018 at 5:37 pm

‘President Trump is a strong negotiator, and I have complete confidence in his abilities to grow our nation’s agriculture exports through competitive, long-term deals.’

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) applauded the Trump Administration for providing about $11 billion in aid to farmers impacted by recently imposed tariffs, with a focus on providing aid to the dairy sector in particular. Collins represents one of the nation’s largest dairy producing districts and has been an outspoken advocate for policies that strengthen the industry.

“By imposing tariffs on nations like China, President Trump is working to level the playing field between the United States and other countries that have taken advantage of us for far too long,” said Collins. “From the start, we were assured that the administration would take appropriate action to protect industries, like our nation’s agriculture industry, that may be impacted by the tariffs. Today’s announcement is a win for the dairy industry as President Trump continues to put American interests first and fight for fair trade deals.”

Unjustified retaliatory tariffs have disproportionately targeted American farmers, impacting prices and raising costs. The emergency aid will come from already authorized money from three separate programs that are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency. The USDA has broad authority to stabilize the agriculture economy during financially difficult times by purchasing excess supply.

Collins added: “As we work toward better deals that reduce our trade deficit, I support implementing policies that provide hardworking farmers with temporary assistance during this adjustment period. President Trump is a strong negotiator, and I have complete confidence in his abilities to grow our nation’s agriculture exports through competitive, long-term deals.”

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Lack of rain is hurting local crops, turning lawns yellow

Photo by Tom Rivers: The lawn in front of the Orleans County Courthouse has turned yellow due to a lack of rain the past month.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 July 2018 at 11:41 am

The lack of rain the past month is already taking a toll on local crops and farmers fear their yields will be down.

Corn is already starting to tassel even though the plants are only 4 to 5 feet tall. Normally the plants are 8 to 9 feet high when they start to tassel, said Larry Meyer, director of the Farm Service Agency in Albion.

“The plants are stunted and yields will be down,” he said.

Orleans County is the state’s second-leading apple producer behind Wayne County. This is normally the time when the fruit starts to put on size, but without rain the fruit will be undersized, with smaller yields and less revenue for the farmers.

Orleans County is officially “abnormally dry,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which last updated the drought map on Thursday. The county has received very little rain since then, unlike neighboring counties.

“It’s pretty critical and we keep missing the rains,” Meyer said this morning.

This map from the United States Drought Monitor shows the majority of New York State is “abnormally dry.” The map was based on data from a week ago and shows 63 percent of state is at least abnormally dry – including 9.3 percent that is in moderate drought.

Orleans was in worse shape two years ago when it was officially in a drought. Meyer said the crop yields were down about 40 percent in 2016.

In mid-July 2016, the State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a drought watch for the entire state, encouraging residents to conserve water due to reduced groundwater levels. That was the first drought watch in New York State since 2002.

Last year there were record levels of moisture, and now the county and region are approaching drought-like conditions.

“We went almost 20 years without being on Drought Monitor,” Meyer said. “Then we had the extreme moisture last year. We’ve never had 3 years like this, back to back to back. It’s not good.”

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NY maple industry has boosted production 50 percent in past 5 years

Posted 8 July 2018 at 9:04 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Bob Schumacher of Schumacher Farm in Ridgeway gives a tour of his sugar shack on Mill Road on March 19, 2016. Schumacher Farm was one of 160 maple farms in New York that participated in Maple Weekend.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York’s maple industry hit a 74-year record in 2018 with the production of 806,000 gallons of maple syrup. The maple industry in New York has grown by nearly 50 percent in the last five years and continues to maintain the state’s standing as the second leading producer of fresh maple syrup in the nation.

“The maple industry is one of New York’s most important agricultural sectors, and it continues to grow year-over-year, infusing millions into the economy and bringing New York national recognition for its quality,” Governor Cuomo said. “The growth of the industry is an indicator of our fantastic producers, who work hard to make some of the best maple syrup in the country and the innovative and unique maple products that consumers are demanding.”

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York’s maple production constituted about 19 percent of the national total. The number of maple taps also continues to climb, with more than 2.73 million taps in production in 2018, the highest number of taps since 1943. New York producers also benefited from a long season in 2018 which lasted 52 days, compared to 43 days in 2017.

Maple Day at the New York State Fair

In celebration of New York’s growing maple industry, the New York State Fair will hold its first-ever Maple Day on Monday, August 27. Maple Day is sponsored by the New York State Maple Producers Association and will feature maple products, such as maple cotton candy, maple donuts, pancakes with maple syrup, and more, that can be sampled at locations across the Fairgrounds. Cooking demonstrations using pure New York maple syrup will be held throughout the day in the Wegmans Demonstration Kitchen and maple vendors will be sampling and selling products at the Taste NY Marketplace in the Horticulture Building. Maple Day joins Dairy Day, Beef Day, and Agricultural Career Day in a lineup of special days created at the fair to highlight and promote New York State agriculture.

New York State Grown & Certified

The New York State Grown & Certified program recently expanded this past winter to include the New York maple industry. Since February 2017, the number of maple producers in the program has nearly tripled, from 14 to 37. For a complete list of producers in the program, click here.

New York State Grown & Certified promotes New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. For maple, the syrup must be sourced from New York maple trees and processed in New York State. To meet the food safety standards, participants must have successfully completed a maple food safety class, developed in partnership between Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Western New York Maple Producers Association, and must follow food safety best practices that are subject to an onsite audit.

In addition, the maple producer must participate in an environmental management program that promotes sustainability and keeps forests healthy and productive, such as the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management program, which is administered through the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, or the Certified Tree Farmer, administered by the American Tree Farm System.

“Maple is agriculture’s first crop of the season and its certainly one that we do extremely well here in New York,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball. “Thanks to our dedicated maple producers, more of whom are joining the NYS Grown & Certified program, New York continues to be a top producer in the country, with record production figures and number of taps in recent history. We are pleased to promote the industry through Grown & Certified and at the State Fair, where more than 1.1 million people will get to taste some of the very best maple syrup and maple products in the country.”

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Gillibrand says Senate-approved Farm Bill will strengthen NY’s rural communities

Posted 5 July 2018 at 6:42 pm

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that several provisions she secured in the Farm Bill have passed in the Senate. These include new grant programs to help invest in New York’s rural economies and $77 million for dairy farmers who paid millions of dollars into an insurance program that did not help them when milk prices dropped.

Gillibrand worked in the Senate Agriculture Committee to include these provisions in the Senate Farm Bill to strengthen New York’s rural economy and protect farmers, and helped ensure that they were passed by the full Senate.

“New York has one of the best agriculture traditions in the country, and this year’s Senate Farm Bill will help feed families all over our state, it will protect our farmers and producers, and it will strengthen our rural economy,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “I was proud to work hard to make sure that this year’s Senate Farm Bill had New York’s best interests at its core. I will continue to fight to make sure the final Farm Bill that is eventually signed into law serves every New Yorker, and I am very pleased that my Senate colleagues have passed this legislation.”

Below are the provisions that Senator Gillibrand successfully included in the recently passed Senate Farm Bill:

Dairy Insurance Refunds

Gillibrand secured a provision in the Senate Farm Bill to refund more than $77 million in insurance premiums to farmers who paid millions of dollars into an insurance program, the Dairy Margin Protection Program, that did not help them when milk prices dropped. This provision in the Senate Farm Bill was modeled after Senator Gillibrand’s Dairy Premium Refund Act, which she introduced in February.

Another provision also directs the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to present dairy farm data in order to better describe the health of the dairy industry and help ensure that policy makers understand which types of dairy producers are most at risk of farm failure.

Rural Broadband

The Senate-passed Farm Bill includes a provision to make grant funding available for rural broadband projects in high-need areas. This provision, based on Senator Gillibrand’s bipartisan Broadband Connections for Rural Opportunities Program Act (B-CROP Act) would help encourage more high-speed broadband deployment to high-need areas by awarding grants in combination with the current loan funding available through the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.

Federal funds would target the highest-need rural and tribal areas, allowing for grants of up to 50 percent of a project’s cost, and up to 75 percent for remote, high-need areas, to be awarded in combination with the current loan funding available through USDA. The Senate Farm Bill also increases the annual funding level of the USDA broadband program to $150 million.

Rural Jobs and Investment

The Senate-passed Farm Bill includes a bipartisan provision led by Senator Gillibrand to expand access to much-needed resources and investment for rural entrepreneurs in Upstate New York to start and expand local businesses. This provision is based on Gillibrand’s Rural Jobs and Investment Act and would create a new grant program to invest in local efforts to launch new companies and create new jobs in New York’s rural communities. It would also expand the use of the USDA Community Facilities Program to invest in business incubators, makerspaces, and job training centers to provide additional resources for communities to support their entrepreneurs.

In addition, Gillibrand’s provision would also expand access to capital for rural entrepreneurs by encouraging investment in rural areas. Currently, the USDA’s Rural Business Investment Program helps address these capital challenges, but this program is limited in the types of industries that it can invest in, as well as the amount of capital it can attract. Gillibrand’s provision would improve the program to allow investments across all industries, encouraging more capital to be invested in rural entrepreneurs.

Aquaculture

Gillibrand also included a provision to protect Long Island shellfish producers by expanding their insurance coverage options. Shellfish producers are at high risk of losing their crops and equipment because of weather, diseases, and changes in the marine environment. Gillibrand’s provision would treat the different growth stages of shellfish and other aquaculture species as separate crops, which would allow the Whole Farm Revenue Insurance Program policies to be more comprehensive and fair for shellfish producers.

Shellfish production is a growing industry in New York. Clam production in the state increased by more than 70 percent between 2012 and 2013, and in 2017, the New York shellfish industry was valued at $16.2 million.

Barley

The bill directs the National Agricultural Statistics Service of USDA to document barley production in New York State. This would ensure that producers have the information they need to decide on future plantings. The information would also be valuable for growers because it would provide sufficient data for crop insurance companies to expand insurance offerings and eventually offer a malting barley endorsement.

Banning Dog and Cat Slaughter

Senator Gillibrand introduced an bipartisan provision with Senator Toomey (R-PA) to ban the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption. This provision was cosponsored by Senators Rubio (R-FL) and Blumenthal (D-CT) and a similar provision is included in the House Farm Bill.

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