Montana FSA: Jan. 14 deadline to buy noninsured crop disaster coverage
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Bruce Nelson reminds Montana producers of an important Jan. 14th deadline for the 2015 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). Because 2015 application closing dates for some crops have already passed before FSA published the regulations and made buy-up coverage available, producers may still obtain buy-up coverage for those crops for the 2015 crop year retroactively by Jan. 14, 2015, by submitting a NAP application for coverage requesting buy-up coverage and paying the applicable administrative service fee. These crops include, perennial forage, fall seeded annual crops, and honey.
Producers who purchased the basic NAP catastrophic (CAT) level of coverage (50/55) by the fall application closing deadlines of Sept. 30th for perennial forage and fall seeded annual crops, and Dec. 1st for honey, may contact their administrative FSA county office and elect an additional buy-up level of coverage.
Producers who did not purchase the basic NAP CAT level of coverage by the fall sales closing dates previously mentions, may contact their administrative county office and elect a buy-up level of coverage only by January 14, 2015. These producers will also be required to either pay the applicable NAP administrative service fee or request a service fee waiver if applicable.
Greater protection is now available under NAP for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance. The new buy-up options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provided greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect crops such as, but not limited to vegetables, fruits, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass sod, honey, grass intended for hay, and industrial crops grown as feedstock for renewable biofuel, etc.
Previously NAP offered coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of the expected production. Producers can now choose higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price.
The expanded protection will be especially helpful to beginning and traditionally underserved producers, as well as farmers with limited resources. These producers may request a waiver of the administrative service fee. In addition, buy-up premiums for these producers will also be reduced.
Additional crops are now eligible for NAP, including expanded aquaculture production practices and sweet and biomass sorghum. In addition, a range of crops used to produce bioenergy will also be eligible for NAP.
Producers with crops for which the NAP sales closing date has passed, will have until Jan. 14, 2015 to file a NAP application for coverage for addition buy-up levels of coverage, and pay the applicable service fee or file a service fee waiver if applicable.
For more information regarding NAP or other FSA programs, contact your local FSA office and/or visit Montana FSA online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/mt.
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