Provides income support, with new payment and eligibility limits, for wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, oilseeds, and pulses through direct payments (except pulses), counter-cyclical payments, marketing loan assistance program, and new average crop revenue election payments. Adjusts sugar loan rates and adds program to use surplus sugar for bioenergy production. Revises dairy price support to operate with administered prices for manufactured products rather than fluid milk.
American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 Summaries
2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) Program: The 2013 DCP program provisions are unchanged from 2012. DCP provides two types of payments to eligible producers on enrolled farms: direct payments and counter-cyclical payments. Both are calculated using historical base acres and payment yields established for the farm. Signup is expected to begin in February and continue into mid-summer. Direct payments will be issued October 2013; there is no authority for advanced direct payments. Counter-cyclical payments, if available, will be issued beginning October 2014.
2013 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program: The 2013 ACRE program provisions are unchanged from 2012. ACRE is an alternative program to DCP. Producers who elect to enroll a farm in ACRE agree to: (1) forgo counter-cyclical payments, (2) a 20-percent reduction in their direct payments, and (3) a 30-percent reduction in the marketing assistance loan rates for all commodities produced on the farm are eligible for ACRE payments. ACRE payments are tied to current plantings on the farm as opposed to countercyclical payments, which are tied to the farm’s base acres.
Eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that eligible producers who were enrolled in ACRE in 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP in 2013 or may re-enroll in ACRE in 2013 (and vice versa).
Milk Income Loss Program (MILC) Program: The MILC program was extended through September 30, 2013 with modifications. MILC compensates enrolled dairy producers when the Boston Class I milk price falls below $16.94 per hundredweight (cwt) as adjusted by the dairy feed ration adjustment, just as in the 2008 farm bill.
Fiscal year 2012: September 2012 was the last month eligible for MILC payments under the 2008 farm bill. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 increased the MILC payment formula for September 2012 and results in a payment rate of $0.59 per hundredweight (the rate for September 2012 was zero using the formula in the 2008 farm bill). The September payment will automatically be disbursed to eligible producers in the near future.
Fiscal year 2013: Producers' MILC contracts are automatically extended to September 30, 2013, so there is no need for producers to re-enroll in MILC.
Producers are also eligible for a $0.02 per hundredweight payment for October 2012. The payment rate for November 2012 is zero. Payments for subsequent months will be determined as data become available.
A relief period will be authorized that will allow MILC participants to change their start month selections because producers were not able to make timely start month selections for FY 2013 according to normal start month selection provisions. During the authorized relief period (to be announced), the production start month selected may be any month in FY 2013.
2013 Marketing Assistance Loans: The 2013 marketing assistance loan program provisions are unchanged from 2012. Marketing assistance loans for major commodities allow producers to receive 9-month loans from the government. Marketing assistance loans provide an influx of cash when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows, thereby allowing producers to delay the sale of the commodity until more favorable market conditions emerge. Loan deficiency payments are also issued when commodity prices fall below loan rates.
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