Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that her amendment to support barley growers in New York State has passed the House and Senate as part of the final conferenced version of the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill now heads to the President’s desk and is expected to be signed into law. Gillibrand’s amendment would direct the National Agricultural Statistics Service of USDA to document barley production in New York State. This would ensure that producers have the information they need to decide on future plantings. The information would also be valuable for growers because it would provide sufficient data for crop insurance companies to expand insurance offerings and eventually offer a malting barley endorsement.
“New York’s barley growers are doing incredible work to support brewers all over our state and the country, and I am proud to fight for them in the Senate,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This amendment would help ensure that our barley producers have access to the best data, so they know where to plant their crops, and it would also help make sure our crop insurers have the information and data they need to start providing coverage to our barley growers. I’m very pleased that this legislation has passed both the House and the Senate as part of the final version of the Farm Bill, and I urge the President to quickly pass it into law.”
Gillibrand’s amendment would also support farmers in New York State who want to begin brewing beer under the “farm brewery” designation. In order to receive that designation, brewers must use a significant percentage of New York State-grown ingredients. Barley is the main ingredient in most beers, yet breweries in New York State can struggle to find enough locally grown malting barley to meet the growing regional demand. Gillibrand’s amendment would help New York’s brewers determine how much barley to cultivate and help set standards that make certain that their barley meets the high-quality standards necessary to brew great New York beer.