WXXI AM News

Farm Bureau: Drought Worst in Generations

Sep 1, 2016

New York farmers are experiencing the worst drought conditions in generations, and while the industry may suffer a setback, it will persevere.

That's from Dean Norton, the President of the New York Farm Bureau, a lobbying group for agribusiness.

Norton says one immediate concern is for dairy farmers.

He says the dairy industry is going through a price downturn, and as they receive lower prices for their products, dairy farmers are also facing the prospect of a shortage of feed this fall.

"We're trying to work with Cornell Cooperative Extension and some of their folks in the affected regions to try to put producers who might have extra outstanding corn or feed available to make those available to dairy producers who are going to be in need themselves," he said.

Norton says the consumer shouldn't see much of a price increase in the dairy aisle, but there will likely be a local impact.

"At some of the farmer's markets and farmer’s stands, you're going to see less local product and less abundance of that there, prices might be slightly higher," he said.

The Farm Bureau is informing its members about the assistance that is available to those impacted by the drought.

Norton adds there may be some that will have to exit the industry because of the drought, but the Farm Bureau will help them leave on their own terms.