Dairy Forward Pricing Program extended

USDA issued a notice extending the Dairy Forward Pricing Program to allow producers and cooperative associations to enter into forward price contracts under the program through Sept. 30, 2013.

The notice, which became effective on Feb. 1, 2013, also extends all other program requirements outlined in the program’s Oct. 31, 2008, Final Rule until Sept. 30, 2013.

The Dairy Forward Pricing Program allows producers and producer cooperative associations to voluntarily enter into forward price contracts with handlers for milk under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. The 2008 Farm Bill initially prohibited new forward contracts from being entered into after Sept. 30, 2012, and allowed no forward contracts to extend beyond Sept. 30, 2015.

The passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, revised the program to allow new contracts to be entered into until Sept. 30, 2013. Any forward contracts entered into until the deadline on Sept. 30, 2013, are still subject to the Sept. 30, 2015, cutoff date.

All new contracts must be signed by both parties prior to the effective month, and received by the federal order market administrator prior to the 15th of the applicable month. For example, to contract March 2013 milk, the forward contract and disclosure must be signed prior to March 1 and received by the market administrator by March 15.

Producer milk that has been forward contracted under the terms of the program is not subject to federal order minimum pricing provisions.

The notice was scheduled to be published in the Feb. 1, 2013, Federal Register. For more information about the decision contact: Roger Cryan, Director, Economics Division, USDA/AMS/Dairy Programs, Stop 0229-Room 2753-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250 0231, phone: 202-720 7091; or email: roger.cryan@ams.usda.gov.