The Iowa office of USDA's Farm Service Agency on April 12, 2012 announced the February payment rate for the FSA's Milk Income Loss Contract or MILC program. The February MILC payment rate is $0.3895043 per hundredweight. This is the first time there has been a payment for MILC since April 2010.
"This is good news for dairy farmers who are affected both by the market price for milk and the increased price of feed to sustain their herds," says John Whitaker, state executive director for FSA in Iowa. "Dairy farmers need to work with local FSA offices to complete the required forms and provide production evidence before payments can be made."
MILC payments are triggered when the Boston Class I milk price falls below $16.94 per hundredweight, after adjustment for the cost of dairy feed rations. MILC payments are calculated each month using the latest milk price and feed cost.
The 2008 Farm Bill authorized MILC through Sept. 30, 2012. Producers must meet the Average Adjusted Gross Income requirement and provide marketing data to the FSA County Office in order to qualify. New dairy producers can apply for program benefits anytime through September 30, 2012, at local FSA offices. Additional information about the MILC program is at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/milc2011.pdf, or you can visit a local FSA Service Center.
Iowa FSA offers "Beginning Farmer Loans" –an update on types available
In other news from FSA, Whitaker also recently announced an update on USDA beginning farmer loan programs. He reminds interested applicants that loan programs are available to assist eligible socially disadvantaged farmers (minority and beginning farmers and ranchers) to buy and/or operate family-size farms and ranches.
"The work our Iowa FSA county offices do to support for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers is evident by the high level of minority and new farmer participation," said Whitaker. "In 2011, 75% of all FSA farm loans in Iowa were made to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Our experienced loan officers find resources and provide individualized planning to serve the needs of under-represented groups in the agricultural community."
FSA offers two different loan types, direct and guaranteed. Farm ownership or farm operating loans may be obtained directly from FSA for up to $300,000. Guaranteed loans, loans made by a commercial lender where FSA acts as a guarantor, can reach a maximum indebtedness of $1,214,000.
FSA offers farm operating loans; and has farm ownership loans to buy land
Operating loans may be used for various short and intermediate type credit needs, such as the purchase of livestock, equipment, and annual operating expenses. Farm ownership loans may be used for the purchase and/or improvement of farm or ranch real estate and buildings associated with these properties.
Individuals, partnerships, joint operations, corporations, limited liability companies and cooperatives primarily and directly engaged in family-sized farming operations are eligible to apply. Repayment terms for direct operating loans depend on the collateral securing the loan and have a term of one to seven years. Repayment terms on direct farm ownership loans are up to 40 years. Guaranteed loan terms (those loans made through commercial lenders, i.e. banks) are set by the lender.Applications for all FSA direct loan programs are made through the local FSA office. Guaranteed loan applications are processed by the participating lender. For more information on farm loans or other programs administered by FSA, visit your local Farm Service Agency office or go on-line at www.fsa.usda.gov