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Schumer says Farm Bill deal good for New York farmers

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New York Sen. Charles Schumer says it’s “a good day” for upstate New York farmers now that there is a deal in the House of Representatives and Senate for a Farm Bill.

Congress is expected to begin voting on the bill later today. The five year farm bill, agreed upon in committees on Monday, reduces crop subsidies and increases crop insurance.

Farm Bills were first written during the Great Depression. This latest one took two years of negotiation.

Schumer, a Democrat, says the bill is especially good for small dairy farmers and maple sugar tappers in New York.

"There will be grants to help them expand, particularly if they’re a smaller farmer," he said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

"There will be rural development grants that will allow the initial costs of expanding, you to get some grants and loans to make that happen."

The Farm Bill will also keep down the price of a gallon of milk.

"Most people expect that the price of milk will go down because of the proposal here because of the way the program is structured," he said. "It’s good in three ways: it’s good for our farmers, it’s good for consumers and it’s good for our producers."

The Farm Bill will cut funding for food stamps, now known as SNAP benefits by 1 percent, or $8 billion. Democrats and Republicans have disagrees over those cuts and could still derail the bill’s passage.

It will be taken up in the House first.

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