USDA – Approximately $2 Billion Available for Eligible Producers Affected by 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires
USDA announced this past Monday that Ag producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 may now apply for assistance through November 16, 2018 to help recover and rebuild their farming operations. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reflected on the billions of dollars in losses that America’s farmers endured last year. With this program (known as the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program – 2017 WHIP), eligible producers will get initial payments of up to 50% of the calculated assistance to help with their bills. If additional monies remain available, these producers will receive more funds later in the year.
Who & what is eligible?
- Producers with eligible crops, trees, bushes, or vines, located in a county declared in a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation that suffered a loss as a result of a 2017 hurricane.
- Producers that endured a loss in a county not designated as a primary county still may be eligible if they provide documentation showing that the loss was due to a hurricane or wildfire in 2017. Find the list of counties that received qualifying hurricane declarations and designations at fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/wildfires-and-hurricanes-indemnity-program/index. Note, FSA’s county committees decipher who is eligible.
- Agricultural production losses caused by last year’s wildfires and hurricanes, including excessive rain, high winds, flooding, mudslides, fire, and heavy smoke, could be eligible.
- Both insured and uninsured producers may apply.
- If quality was taken into consideration under the insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy, where production was further adjusted, the adjusted production will be used in calculating the assistance from the program.
- Eligible crops include those where federal crop insurance or NAP coverage is available, except for those crops intended for grazing. A list of crops covered by crop insurance is available at rma.usda.gov/apps/actuarialinformationbrowser.
- Eligibility will be determined for each producer based on the size of the loss as well as the level of insurance coverage chosen by the producer.
- A WHIP factor will be determined for each crop based on the producer’s coverage level. Those who elected higher coverage levels will receive a higher WHIP factor.
- Certain assistance caps will apply.
Please refer to USDA’s site for full details on the program, the official Press Release and what needs to be submitted for approval.
To expedite payments, make sure you are registered with your local USDA service center.
For additional information and details on FSA disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA service center or visit www.farmers.gov/recover/whip.
“Nearly $2 Billion Now Available for Eligible Producers Affected by 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires.” USDA – U.S. Department of Agriculture Press Releases, https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/07/16/nearly-2-billion-now-available-eligible-producers-affected-2017?platform=hootsuite