U.S. Senator Charles Schumer today unveiled his plan to make malt barley eligible for federal crop insurance for New York farmers, as in other states.
Joined by local legislators, farmers, and brewers, Schumer announced his plan to push the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture to include malt barley in federal crop insurance. Over the next decade most New York State Craft brewers will be required by state law to source 90 percent of ingredients from local farms and malt houses. At Albany Distilling Company, the Democrat said action by Congress wouldn’t be needed to make the necessary changes.
"The good news is, we don't need legislation," Shumer said. "All we need is the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture with a flick of his pen to make malt barley here in New York state eligible for crop insurance. I'm here today in the Capital Region to announce that I'm going to push him very hard and hard and hard until he gets that done."
Schumer said in order to match demand for the crop used in local breweries, farms need to produce 15 times more malt barley, and farmers are less likely to plant the crop without insurance.