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The Latest: Emergency dairy farm aid targeted for December

October 03, 2016 - 12:12 PM

CONCORD, N.H. - The Latest on an emergency relief fund for New Hampshire dairy farmers (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A New Hampshire board that oversees a never-before-funded emergency fund for dairy farmers wants to get aid to them by December as they struggle with low milk prices and drought conditions.

The board met Monday and acknowledged dairy farmers in the state are dealing with historic losses and desperately need money to pay to feed their cows and cattle to get them through the winter. Many farms produced a small fraction of the corn feed and hay needed for the animals.

The board says it plans to come up with an amount by next week and help create a task force of legislators to hold a hearing on the proposal. The goal is to get the money to farmers by the time the Legislature is sworn in Dec. 7.

Dairy farmers in much of New Hampshire and parts of Massachusetts and New York have been hit hardest by the drought. But unlike New Hampshire, those states and others in New England provide supplemental aid.

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7:40 a.m.

An emergency relief fund created in 2008 to help New Hampshire dairy farmers has never been funded, and now state officials are trying to see what can be done as farmers struggle with low milk prices and drought conditions.

Nineteen of the state's 120 dairies have closed in recent months. The state had lost 10 dairies over the previous four years combined.

Dairy farmers in much of New Hampshire and parts of Massachusetts and New York have been hit hardest by the drought. But unlike New Hampshire, those states and others in New England provide supplemental aid.

New Hampshire's Agriculture Department has included money for the fund in past budgets, but it was removed.

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has committed to $2 million to it. The fund's board meets Monday.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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