Higher expenses prompts MILC payments for nation’s dairies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Milk Income Loss Contract program administered by county offices of the Farm Service Agency compensates dairy producers when domestic milk prices fall below a specified Boston Class I milk price level.

In addition, a feed cost adjuster applies over the life of the program, which adjusts the support level upward depending on the cost of feed rations.

Because of recent higher expenses recognized in dairy feed rations, MILC payments are triggered for milk produced and commercially marketed in the United States during the March 2012. The 2008 Farm Bill re-authorized the MILC program through Sept. 30, 2012.

FSA will disburse MILC payments to eligible dairies at the rate of $0.826 per hundred pounds for the verifiable production pounds of milk produced by the dairy operation. This is an increase from February’s $0.3895 payment rate.

FSA issues payments up to the maximum eligible pounds of raw milk produced and marketed by each operation per fiscal year. The annual maximum eligible poundage limit per dairy operation is 2.985 million pounds per fiscal year.

Producers must provide verifiable milk production evidence along with filing other required eligibility forms to their local county FSA offices before a payment can be processed. Examples of verifiable production evidence can include cooperative association payment stubs, tank records or other milk handler records.

New dairy producers can also apply for program payment benefits at anytime until the Sept. 30 deadline.

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