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Another deadline (for you) has come and gone; so what?

I suppose it’s just another casalty of the recent temporary government shut-down. But, then again, it could be said that it’s the way the government operates. They’re in the habit of being a day late and a dollar short.

No, wait, that’s not at all correct. They’re years behind and $17,000,000,000,000 in the red. Nevertheless, our esteemed non-leaders continue to sit comfortably, ceremoniously and clueless.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is the news release that USDA sent out by e-mail on October 28th. The headline reads: Dairy Producers Reminded of November 1 Deadline to Submit Production Evidence for the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program.

If you happen to be among the few who may actually receive his/her copy of Farmshine by the November 1 date, then you’re in luck. As for the rest of you, well, you’re out of luck.

USDA sending out a notice four days ahead of a deadline is rather short notice not to say the least and virtually useless for a weekly publication that is likely not to arrive in many readers’ mailboxes until after the November 1 deadline.

I trust that most readers are already aware of the due date and have their production prepared and ready to submit. If not, you may be hard-pressed to comply with “final production evidence and any supporting documentation of the MILC program for the eligible months (including fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013,” as directly quoted from the USDA news release.

And for whatever it’s worth to you, Juan M. Garcia, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) explains the MILC program in the news release:

"The MILC program helps dairy producers get through tough economic times, and is another reason we need a new Farm, Food and Job bill. When low dairy prices create a hardship for dairy producers, payments are made to those who participate in the program to ensure they have the financial assistance they need to maintain their business. An additional benefit is the stimulation of local economies."

Concluding sentences of the eyebrow-raising, bite-your-tongue announcement hint yet again how time has been wasted ... and is running out.

Statutory authority for the MILC program expired Sept. 30, 2013. New legislation must be enacted before the MILC program, or its replacement, can provide assistance.