A variety of measures to support state agriculture by reducing energy costs, bolstering business operations and improving environmental planning were announced Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“New York is proud to be home to a robust agriculture industry that supports thousands of jobs and provides the economic lifeblood for families and communities across the state,” Cuomo said. “Over the past two-and-a-half years, we have worked hard to support the growth of our already vibrant agriculture industry, including cutting burdensome regulations and helping small dairy farms expand their herds.”
Dairy Acceleration Program
The Department of Agriculture and Markets is working in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Conservation to launch the Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) by making $1 million available in funding to help dairy farmers develop individualized business and environmental plans.
Through the DAP, farmers can tap into the expertise of the Cornell Cooperative Extension network, Cornell PRO-DAIRY and other agricultural programs to facilitate business operations and increase production on their farms.
To be eligible for DAP, a dairy farm must have complete financial records. Preference will be given to farms with under 300 cows. DAP funding will cover 80 percent of a project’s cost.
To apply for DAP, visit ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/dairy_acceleration.
Renewable energy from waste
Cuomo recently signed legislation that supports farmers in their efforts to install anaerobic digesters, which convert farm waste to renewable energy. This helps farmers address waste disposal and nutrient-recycling challenges while helping them lower their energy bills. Support for this equipment on farms was a key goal of the state’s first yogurt summit, which was convened by Cuomo in 2012.
Specifically, the legislation clarifies that anaerobic digesters fixed to agricultural lands are subject to existing property tax exemptions. In addition, it increases the limit to 1,000 kilowatts for the anaerobic digesters that are eligible for 15-year real property tax exemptions.