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Dairy farms might qualify for payments

March 12, 2012

The Washington County Farm Service Agency reminds area dairy producers of program eligibility requirements for payment under the Milk Income Loss Contract program.

Colleen Cashell, county farm service executive director, said dairy prices might mean potential payments in the coming months, so all dairy producers need to be aware of the program requirements.

Dairy operators enrolled in the program should notify their local county office if there have been any changes to their dairy operation. This includes ownership of the dairy and even the land farmed.

If a payment rate is announced, dairy producers enrolled in the program will need to provide the county office with documentation showing the eligible milk production and commercial milk marketing for the months with a payment rate in effect.

When producers enroll in the program, a payment start month is selected. The month remains the same through all program years unless a change is requested by the dairy. Dairy producers are allowed to change their start month an unlimited number of times throughout their enrollment in the program provided that the changes are requested timely. A new request for 2012 must be made on or before the March 14 before the newly selected program production start month.

New dairies that have not previously participated in the program will need to fill out the CCC-580, Milk Income Loss Contract, and other eligibility forms.

Program participants are also required to comply with the farm service’s Adjusted Gross Income requirements each fiscal year. This certification, on a CCC-931, must be completed before a payment can be disbursed. Since this is a new form for 2012, any enrolled producers expecting a payment must first visit their local farm service office to complete the form.  In Washington County, the office is at 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 107, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

For more information, call 301-797-0500, or send an email to colleen.cashell@md.usda.gov.

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