MILC details still coming

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced updates to programs approved by Congress at the edge of the “fiscal cliff.” However, some details of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program remain to be answered.

When Congress approved the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 on Jan. 1, it extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) commodity, disaster and conservation programs through 2013.

The extended programs include, among others: the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program (DCP), the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE), and MILC.

FSA said all dairy producers’ MILC contracts are automatically extended to Sept. 30, 2013. Eligible producers do not need to re-enroll in MILC. However, FSA said specific details regarding certain modifications to MILC – presumably including “start month” information for farmers producing milk above the eligible payment cap – will be released soon.

FSA will begin sign-ups for DCP and ACRE for the 2013 crops on Feb. 19. The DCP sign-up period will end on Aug. 2; the ACRE sign-up period will end on June 3.

The 2013 DCP and ACRE program provisions are unchanged from 2012, except that all eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that eligible producers who were enrolled in ACRE in 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP in 2013 or may re-enroll in ACRE in 2013 (and vice versa). 

For more information about the programs and loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or