U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging the federal agency to expand crop insurance for barley in all counties in New York where production is possible.
Currently, 28 out of 62 counties in New York have barley crop insurance. Gillibrand said in her Feb. 16 letter that there are many farmers outside these areas that would benefit from crop insurance for barley.
Gillibrand said that since 2011, there has been a 72 percent increase in farm-based breweries, cideries, and distilleries in New York, which has created significant demand for barley and other small grains.
“In order to sustain this robust industry and improve the viability of our farms and farming communities, it is important that barley and other grains are available. A key to encouraging growers to plant these crops is to ensure that they can manage their risk with appropriate crop protection programs,” she said.