U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging the USDA to expand crop insurance for barley in all New York counties to support a growing craft beer industry.
Gillibrand says offering crop insurance would afford additional protection to barley growers and help farmers meet the growing demand from local breweries and distilleries.
Since 2011, there has been a 72 percent increase in farm-based breweries, cideries, and distilleries in New York, which has created significant demand for barley and other small grains.
Right now barley covers nearly 2,000 acres of New York farmland.