Some of the terminology and timing has changed but most of the provisions for the extended Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are same as those that were in the 2008 Farm Bill, which is now in place through Sept. 30 of this year.
One change that affects the dairy farms, which produce more than 2.985 million pounds of milk during a federal fiscal year, is that they are being allowed to choose a beginning month for receiving MILC payments other than October of 2012.
Under what's been termed a "relief month," they have until Feb. 28 to visit their county Farm Service Agency office to make that choice.
Under the announced provisions of the extension, those producers could choose March of 2013 as their beginning month for payments.
Previously, the choice of a beginning month for those exceeding the 2.985 million pound total had to be made no later than the 14 of the previous month.
Because the dairy operations, which exceed the 2.985 million pounds on milk volume eligible for payments, will be able to choose March 2013 as their starting month, they might be able to obtain the highest monthly payment of the federal fiscal year.
According to the monthly MILC payment estimates calculated by University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy market specialist Brian Gould, the potential MILC payment rate for March stands at the 2013 fiscal year high of 76.20 cents per hundred.
As compiled after the close of the business day on every Friday, Gould's end of January estimates on potential MILC payments for other months in 2013 are 11.41 cents per hundred for January, 48.58 cents for February, 57.2 cents for April, and 46.29 cents for May.
Those numbers are based on the most recent futures prices for Class III milk and the costs of dairy ration feedstuffs.
Dairy farms that have not hit the 2.985 million pound limit on MILC payment eligibility in a federal fiscal year will receive retroactive payments of 59.443 cents per hundred for the milk they shipped in September of 2012 and 2.68 cents per hundred on their October milk shipments.
Issuance of the September 2012 payments was to begin on Feb. 5. Producers who want to receive the minimal payment for October 2012 are not required to re-enroll in MILC but they need to file a new form CCC-933 (adjusted gross income certification) because October is in fiscal year 2013.
That form, which is also needed for other Farm Service Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Service program payments, can be completed at one's local FSA office or on the www.fsa.usda.gov/ccc933 Web site.
Producers with questions about the timetable, forms, or procedures should contact their county FSA office.