ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Chuck Schumer is making a push on Monday that he says will help Capital Region farmers who support the area’s growing craft beer and distilling industry.
Schumer is hoping to establish a crop insurance program for farmers who grow malt barley–a crop that is crucial to local craft brewers and distillers.
Currently, Schumer says there is no federally back insurance for malt barley in New York. The senator says this can negatively impact farmers and craft brewers, especially in the next decade, as they will be required by state law to source 90 percent of ingredients from local farms and malt houses.
“All you need is some bad weather, hail or early frost or it can be some international condition. All of a sudden another country jumps a huge amount of product on the market. And you’re stuck. So farmers more than just about anyone need insurance,” said Schumer.
Schumer says insurance is available to farmers growing malt barley in other states. He will be meeting with the US Secretary of Agriculture to add New York farmers to the list.