Last month, I spent a day at the Ohio State Fair. My trip was not complete without a visit to see the sculpted butter cow on display in the Dairy Products Building. While numerous fair-goers viewed the butter cow and tried to eat their ice cream cones before they melted away, few probably knew about the current economic crisis that is affecting our nation’s dairy producers.
To aid in this crisis, the Farm Service Agency is continuing to accept applications for the Milk Income Loss Contract. This program is available to producers until Sept. 30, 2012. The Milk Income Loss Contract program issues payments to eligible producers when the Boston Class I fluid milk price falls below $16.94 per hundredweight, as adjusted by the monthly variable feed cost trigger.
Each dairy operation is eligible to receive payments up to 2.985 million pounds of milk produced and marketed each fiscal year.
In order to receive Milk Income Loss Contract payments, producers will need to follow these steps:
1. Complete a CCC-580, Milk Income Loss Contract at the local Farm Service Agency office.
2. Designate a month in which to start receiving Milk Income Loss Contract payments. In order to select the current month, designations must be made on or before the 14th of that month. Producers already enrolled in the program can change their start month as long as the new start month is selected on the CCC-580 by the 14th of the month before the month originally selected by the dairy operation as their Milk Income Loss Contract production start month and the newly selected Milk Income Loss Contract production start month for the dairy operation.
Start months can be changed an unlimited number of times or until maximum pounds are reached or the program ends. The start month will remain the same from year to year if no changes are made.
3. Complete necessary Farm Service Agency eligibility forms. Many of these forms may need to be updated for the 2010 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, 2009, before October payments can be issued.
4. Submit monthly production evidence of milk produced and marketed for all producers getting a share of the Milk Income Loss Contract payment to Farm Service Agency.
Dairy producers interested in the Milk Income Loss Contract should contact their local Farm Service Agency office to sign up. A fact sheet and more information can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov.
That’s all for now,