December 28, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces New York State Reclaims Its Status as the Third Highest Producer of Milk in the Nation

Governor Cuomo Announces New York State Reclaims Its Status as the Third Highest Producer of Milk in the Nation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State is now the third largest producer of milk in the entire country, passing Idaho in 2013 by 57 million pounds. Data just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms that this is the first time since 2009 that New York has ranked third nationally in milk production after previously holding the number 3 spot from 1972 to 2009. Compared to 2012, New York's milk production increased by 2.2% in 2013, compared to 0.4% growth nationwide. This strong growth represents the fourth consecutive year that New York has registered an increase in milk production. This growth is due to increased demand for milk, thanks in large part to the states booming yogurt industry, coupled with higher milk production per cow which increased by 10.2% from 2009 to 2013. New York is also the number one producer of cream cheese and cottage cheese in the country.

New York State has recaptured its spot as one of the top three milk producers in the country, proving that our efforts to create new economic opportunities for the dairy industry are working, Governor Cuomo said. Milk production is fueling thousands of jobs across Upstate New York, revitalizing communities and providing a variety of nutritious products for millions of consumers across the country. This year, we will continue working together to grow our thriving agricultural sector, and I congratulate New Yorks dairy industry on this achievement.

The dairy industry is New Yorks leading agricultural sector, accounting for more than one-half of the states total agricultural receipts. The increased milk supply has been very important in helping to meet the tremendous growth in the production of yogurt by plants located in New York State. In 2012, New Yorks yogurt production was 695 million pounds. Compared to 2007, at 234 million pounds, production has nearly tripled. As a result, New York became the number one producer of yogurt in the country in 2012. 2013 data is not yet available.

Acting State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Governor Cuomo has recognized the importance of agriculture to our economy since day one and today's announcement is proof positive that this Administrations actions on behalf of the dairy industry are working. Im excited to be part of the Department of Agriculture and Markets during this exciting time for this sector of the economy."

At the inaugural 2012 Yogurt Summit, Governor Cuomo announced New York State would be lifting the current cap under the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations regulations (CAFO) from 199 dairy cows to 299 dairy cows. This action is part of the Governors efforts to balance environmental regulations with economic needs to foster growth within the dairy sector. It will also encourage dairy herd expansion and increase milk production. The regulation to implement this change was effective in May 2013 and the revised general permit issued by DEC was authorized in July 2013. As the Governor announced in his recent State of the State address, a second Yogurt Summit will take place in 2014 to help continue the phenomenal growth of the states dairy industry. In addition, the Governors proposed 2014-15 Executive Budget includes $500,000 for research into the management of acid whey produced by the states Greek Yogurt industry.

Governor Cuomo also recently announced that $20 million will be available through NYSERDA for dairy farmers to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to produce electricity and heat from organic wastes. Farms, food processing manufacturers or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.

To apply for this funding, please visit:

In addition, Governor Cuomo recently announced the Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) will be increased by $850,000, which is in addition to the $1 million he announced this past August. DAP is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Payments under DAP may include: up to $5,000 per farm to write a business plan or develop a combination of a business and facility growth plan; and up to $4,500 to update an existing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) or $6,000 to develop a new one. To apply for DAP, please visit:

Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau President, said, "New York Farm Bureau congratulates the hard working dairy farmers in New York for their continued success. It is because of their consistent quality and superb animal care that we have once again claimed the third spot among the largest dairy producing states. It bodes well for the states agricultural economy, and with the Governor's continued focus on growing dairy production in this state, we will remain among the nation's leaders in providing healthy, nutritious products that consumers are increasingly wanting."

Kathryn J. Boor, The Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, "The dairy industry's enthusiasm for the Empire State is in no short measure a result of the vital collaborations among our dairy producers, Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Governor Cuomo's office. Thanks to the support of key dairy-focused initiatives in the college, a substantial expansion in manufacturing, and the states commitment to fostering future growth through programs such as the Dairy Acceleration Program, our dairy industry is well positioned for continuing successes."

Kerry Adams, Vice Chair of the Northeast Dairy Producers Association, said, "The Northeast Dairy Producers Association is proud of our New York dairy farmers for striving to meet the growing milk processing demands in our state. Recapturing our position as the third largest state in dairy production is a direct result of the commitment New York dairy farms have to meeting industry needs and consumer demands."