MILC projections may aid ‘start month’ selection


With USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offering a fiscal year 2013 (FY ’13) “start month” relief period for the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, larger dairy producers will want to keep an eye on the latest payment projections from University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist Brian Gould.

Previously, FSA announced retroactive MILC payments of 59.44¢ for September 2012 and 2.37¢ for October 2012, the first month of FY ’13. The September 2012 payment is automatic to any producer enrolled in MILC who hadn’t surpassed the 2.985 million lbs. annual milk marketing cap in FY ’12. However, larger producers may want adjust the “start month” to take advantage of higher projected payments in FY  ’13.

Based on futures prices on Jan. 24, Gould estimated 2013 MILC payments (¢/cwt.) will be as follows: January – 2.7¢; February – 39.8¢; March – 57.8¢; April – 43.3¢; May – 36.7¢; June – 28.7¢; and July – 22.4¢. Gould updates the projections weekly. They can be found at Gould’s “Understanding Dairy Markets” website at

Because producers were not able to make timely “start month” selections for FY ’13, FSA will authorize a “relief period”, allowing MILC participants to select any “start month” month in fiscal year 2013. FSA has not yet announced the “start month” relief period schedule, and is delaying the October 2012 payment until FSA computer software is enhanced.

Contact your local USDA/Farm Service Agency office for further information.

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