Feb. 14 2013 08:07 AM

Flexibility to consider previous or current months as a start month ends February 28.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

Milk Income Loss Contracts (MILC) were automatically extended through September 30, 2013, under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. There is no need for producers to re-enroll in MILC.

Since the act was signed after the start of fiscal year 2013, producers were not able to make timely start month selections according to normal start month selection provisions, noted a USDA Farm Service Agency Bulletin. Therefore, a relief period beginning February 1, 2013 was authorized. This period, allowing MILC participants to make start month selections for the fiscal year, will end February 28.

This period is only for producers wishing to change their start month. The start month selection for 2012 will automatically roll over to 2013 for those who are satisfied with their previous start month selection.

A payment rate of 59 cents per hundredweight has been announced for September 2012. A rate of 2 cents per hundredweight has been established for October 2012. Before the October payment can be issued, producers must complete a new Average Adjusted Gross Income form for 2013.

As Rob Vandenheuvel noted in a report from the Milk Producers Council, "There seems to be a general agreement that using current dairy market levels, March 2013 will generate the highest monthly payout with April 2013 projected to generate the next highest payout (see graph).

These projections are subject to change on a weekly or daily basis.

Crop insurance deadlines
The American Taxpayer Relief Act also amended the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, providing for a one-year extension of the bill, noted a USDA Farm Service Agency Bulletin. The sign up period for the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment (DCP) Program and Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program begins on February 19.

All producers may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. Producers who enrolled in ACRE for 2012 may enroll in DCP in 2013 or vice versa. The sign up period for DCP will end on August 2, 2013. Sign-ups for ACRE will end on June 3, 2013.