FSA Andy for Dec. 24, 2009


Dear producers:

You probably know that one needs to have a little bit of patience and a lot of time when working in one of these offices. Today, as I celebrate my birthday, I can tell you it feels like the time is running out . . . Every dairy farmer should have heard about the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment that is to be issued this month.

If you have been receiving benefits under the current MILC Program you are automatically enrolled for the upcoming Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment benefits. Eligible operations Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment payments will be calculated based on each qualifying dairy operation’s pounds of production marketed during the months of February 2009 through July 2009, multiplied by 2, up to a maximum of 6 million pounds per dairy operation.

The payment rate will be calculated by dividing $290 million , less an established reserve, by the total eligible pounds approved for payment. It is hopeful that these funds will begin arriving Dec. 24. This is where patience comes to play in both being a producer and a worker in a FSA office. We do understand the importance of timing of payments this last month of the year and we will stay tuned in to issue them as soon as they are released to us.

How to apply for Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment if you were not enrolled in the MILC Program? There is not a specific application required for dairy operations that did not participate in the MILC Program during 2009 to apply for Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment. The application period began Dec. 17 and will end Jan. 19.

Therefore, the request for benefits may be in the form of a letter or memo that includes all of the following:

– Name and address of the dairy operation.

– Contact information for the dairy including telephone number.

– Name and percentage share for the entity or individual producers receiving a share of the payment

– Proof of production for the qualifying months.

Submit this information by mail to: Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs, FSA-USDA-STOP 0512, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-0512, Attn. DELAP Program or fax to 202-690-1536.

I hope that you know we consider all of you our extended family members. It is a pleasure working to serve the farmers in northeast Ohio.

And by the way . . . The Christmas Pony has been named Benny. My little boy was riding him in the barnyard and said, “Mom . . . this is the life! I got everything I wanted for Christmas.”

We, at all the FSA offices in northeast Ohio, wish each of you a Merry Christmas.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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