The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend $25 million nationwide to purchase Concord grape juice, benefiting growers in upstate New York and other states, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said in a release.
The senators said the grape industry has a surplus of Concord grapes due to a large 2014 crop. The USDA’s “bonus buy” of some of the surplus is intended to stabilize the product’s price; the juice will be used in domestic nutrition programs, such as school lunches.
The purchase will help growers in Western New York, the Finger Lakes and Central New York, as well as in seven other states, the senators said. It is not yet known how much of the $25 million will flow to growers in New York state.
New York state has 281 growers and more than 9,700 acres of Concord grape vineyards.