Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is eligible to receive payments under the program? All New York State dairy producers who produced milk in 2006 and were in operation as of April 1, 2007 are eligible.
New York State Dairy Assistance Program
2. How will producers be paid? Payments will be made to eligible producers for up to 4.8 million pounds of milk produced during the 2006 calendar year using a payment rate established pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law §258-pp and 1 NYCRR Part 23.
3. What is the rate of payment? The payment rate will be determined by dividing the available funds by the pounds of eligible milk production in 2006. The payment rate is expected to be between $.30 and $.35 per hundredweight.
4. When will payment be made for the New York State Dairy Assistance Program? Payments are expected to be mailed by May 9, 2007 to all eligible producers who provided complete applications and accurate production data by April 27. Payments will be issued by the New York State Empire State Development Corporation.
5. Do I need to fill out an application to receive a payment? Yes. Eligible dairy producers should complete parts A, B and C of the application, complete the W-9 Request for taxpayer ID number that is attached to the application, and sign the application where indicated. Applications are to be delivered to the Department or postmarked no later than April 27, 2007.
6. Where can I get an application? Applications will be sent to dairy producers through their cooperative or processor. Those producers who do not belong to a cooperative can obtain an application at their county Farm Service Agency office. Producers can also download the application off the Department’s website at www.agriculture.ny.gov or request a copy by calling the Department at 1-800-554-4501.
7. Is there a cap on the amount of money that a producer can receive? Yes. An eligible producer can only be reimbursed for milk produced in 2006 up to 4.8 million pounds. Based on this cap and the expected rate of payment, the maximum amount a producer would receive is estimated to be approximately $16,000.
8. Why is there a 4.8 million pound cap for milk production in this program? The enabling legislation outlines a cap of 4.8 million pounds, double that of the MILCX program, in an effort to spread the available money out to as many producers in New York State as possible.
9. Where can I find my MILCX contract number? The MILCX contract number is the reference number found to the left of the date on a MILCX pay stub. It should be 1 to 3 digits preceded with several lead zeros. Your county FSA office can also assist you in identifying your MILCX contract (reference) number.
10. If a farmer does not take part in the MILCX program by choice or through regulation, can they take part in the New York State Dairy Assistance Program? Yes. Along with completing an application, the producer will need to provide production verification records such as milk marketing payment stubs, bulk tank records, milk handler records and daily milk marketing records.
11. How will the milk volume be calculated for dairy farmers that own multiple farms? Dairy producers operating multiple farms taking part in the MILCX program have already had the determination made on which farms are combined and which are separate entities. This program will use the determinations made under MILCX when combining farms. If a producer does not take part in the MILCX program, then any producer with the same tax ID or Social Security number will be combined to determine the 4.8 million pound cap.
12. Why is a W-9 form required? Payments will be issued by the New York State Empire State Development Corporation. They require a complete W-9 form before payment can be issued. The W-9 form and instructions can be found on the NY Department of Agriculture and Markets website (www.agriculture.ny.gov) by clicking on New York State Dairy Assistance Program.
13. Are sheep and goats milk part of the program? No. Milk from sheep and goats does not qualify to receive payment through the New York State Dairy Assistance Program.
14. Is on-farm processed milk part of the program? Yes. Producers who process their own milk are eligible to receive payment. As proof of their production, they will need to provide the form used to report milk weights to the National Dairy Promotion Board or the New York State Dairy Promotion Board.
15. Are organic dairy farmers eligible for payment from the program? Yes. Organic dairy farmers can participate as long as they meet the requirements of an eligible producer.
16. What caused the dairy crisis in 2006? There are a number of factors that negatively impacted dairy farmers in 2006. During that time, New York dairy farmers received extremely low milk prices well below those of 25 years ago and below the cost of production. They also experienced very high fuel, feed, energy, fertilizer and other operating costs. As a result, many dairy farmers incurred unprecedented losses, forcing many to exit the business. This program was enacted to assist dairy farmers in a time of great need and to prevent further loss in the dairy industry and its infrastructure, which are critical to the State’s agricultural and Upstate economy.
17. What other programs is the State offering dairy farmers? New York State offers a number of programs to help dairy farmers remain viable and competitive. Following are a few examples.
The New York Center for Dairy Excellence, founded in February, will bring together farmers, researchers, educators and agribusinesses to pursue projects of common interests, including but not limited to improving environmental management, addressing language barrier between farmers and migrant workers, educating organic herd managers, developing methods of farms transference and creating business benchmarks.
The New York Milk Producer Security Program ensures dairy farmers are paid for their milk by requiring milk dealers to be licensed and have filed security.
The New York State Dairy Promotion Order was voluntarily established to use funds to promote the consumption of New York milk and dairy products.
The New York Dairy Farm Profitability and Productivity Project, or PRO-DAIRY, is an educational program that offers farm families opportunities to increase the profitability and competitiveness of New York’s dairy industry by recognizing the rapidly changing technology and management needs of the industry.