Gillibrand urges USDA to expand crop insurance for industrial hemp farmers

Kirsten Gillibrand

(Eaton, July 24, 2017) Standing at JD Farms, one of the largest industrial hemp farms in New York State, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand crop insurance coverage for New York State industrial hemp farmers.

“If our farmers are going to invest their resources to grow industrial hemp and help build our local economy, they should have the peace of mind that their investments are going to be protected if a natural disaster comes and wipes out their harvest,” said Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, would help change our outdated federal laws and clear a pathway to provide appropriate crop insurance protections for industrial hemp farmers.”

“Insuring industrial hemp crops will give our farmers peace of mind and provide parity for this important agricultural commodity,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Binghamton). “I’d like to thank Senator Gillibrand for recognizing the work we’ve done at the state level and taking the lead in Washington on this critical issue. This is a very important step in the growth of the commercial hemp industry in NYS.”

“Providing hemp farmers the same insurance protections as other crops will make hemp a viable and sustainable commodity for our farmers to grow,” said New York State Assemblyman William Magee.

“Hemp is a value laden crop that, if treated like a legitimate agricultural commodity, can provide farmers access to a high growth market,” said Dan Dolgin, Co-Owner of JD Farms. “As such, it is critical that farmers receive the same protections against increased weather volatility experienced worldwide.”

Senator Gillibrand previously co-sponsored the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, legislation that would remove industrial hemp from Schedule 1 and clarify the role of the Attorney General to determine whether a state law permitting the cultivation of industrial hemp is in compliance with federal THC limits and standards. Currently, the farming of industrial hemp is legal in New York State. However, in order for farmers to receive crop insurance, they require additional clarification from the Administration and for hemp to be designated a specialty crop by the USDA.

Hemp can be used in the manufacture of many products including building materials, apparel, cosmetics, and automotive parts.

The full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture included here.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>