It is late in the afternoon on Good Friday as I am sitting down with my cold glass of milk to write my weekly letter to you. All is quiet, except for the slight rumbling in my stomach that usually happens around this time most every day! Somehow I remembered that I have a bag of milk chocolate Easter bunnies hidden away in my cupboard that just may not make it until Sunday!
I decided to research the chocolate Easter bunny and found out a few interestingly sweet Easter facts:
— Easter is the second most important candy-eating occasion of the year for Americans, who consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011.
— Ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year,
— Adults prefer milk chocolate (65 percent), to dark chocolate (27 percent),
— Chocolate bunnies should be eaten ears first, according to 76 percent of Americans.
Well now, this brings me back to why I wanted to write to you today- to tell you about a recent announcement that will help dairy producers! The USDA, Farm Service Agency announced the February payment rate for the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. The February MILC payment rate is $0.3895043 per hundredweight.
This is the first time there has been a payment for MILC since April 2010. MILC payments are triggered when the Boston Class I milk price falls below $16.94 per hundredweight, after adjustment for the cost of dairy feed rations. MILC payments are calculated each month using the latest milk price and feed cost. Dairy producers are affected by the market price for milk and the price of feed to sustain their herds.
While milk prices have remained above the $16.94 base used in the MILC calculation, the increase in feed prices has triggered payments because of the feed ration component.
MILC program participants are also required to comply with FSA’s Adjusted Gross Income requirements each fiscal year. This certification, on a CCC-931, must be completed before a payment can be disbursed. New dairies that have not previously participated in the MILC program will need to fill out the CCC-580, Milk Income Loss Contract at their local FSA Service Center.
I think that about sums up what I wanted to tell you this week. Now I think I will enjoy one of those milk chocolate Easter bunnies — ears first!
Happy Belated Easter!