PORTLAND (AP) — Maine’s congressional delegation is calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make emergency changes to help dairy farmers who are struggling with low prices.

Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree says farm milk prices have dropped nearly 40 percent in recent years, leaving New England dairy farmers in trouble. She and the rest of the delegation want dairy milk to be designated as an agricultural commodity that’s eligible for federal crop insurance.

The lawmakers also want the USDA’s Risk Management Agency to develop more insurance products for dairy farmers.

The Maine delegation signed on to a letter to the USDA that was signed by more than two dozen lawmakers from New England. Pingree says New England’s nearly 1,500 dairy farms face unique challenges, such as a drought that affected the region.

In this Tuesday, March 31, 2015 photo, a dairy cow is milked at the Straw Farm in Newcastle, Maine. 

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