USDA offers disaster buy-in | TSLN.com

USDA offers disaster buy-in

Adam Templeton, DTN Staff Reporter

DTN file photoBy paying a "buy-in" fee of $100 per crop, farmers who didn't buy crop insurance or buy into the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) can receive coverage from a multitude of programs in the farm bill.

OMAHA (DTN) – USDA’s Farm Service Agency is cutting farmers a break if they find themselves ineligible for the 2008 Food Conservation and Energy Act’s new disaster assistance programs.

By paying a “buy-in” fee, farmers who didn’t buy crop insurance or buy into the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) can receive coverage from a multitude of programs in the farm bill.

To be eligible for the new programs, farmers were required to have either crop insurance or NAP coverage. However, because the act was enacted after the application periods for crop insurance and NAP expired, many ag producers were unable to meet this pre-requisite.

The buy-in fee is $100 per crop, but not more than $300 per producer per administrative county, or $900 per producer for all counties less any previously paid fees for Catastrophic Risk Protection (CAT) or NAP. Fees are due by Sept. 16, 2008, and do not provide the producer with crop insurance or NAP, only eligibility for 2008 disaster programs.

After paying the fee, producers will receive loss coverage benefits under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), and the Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

The SURE program, commonly called the permanent disaster program, covers producers in designated disaster counties, contiguous counties that have suffered crop production or quality losses and any farm where weather has caused losses greater than half of normal production. Financial losses must be on the whole farm, not a crop, after insurance is paid out. SURE payments also are capped at $100,000 per producer.

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The Livestock Forage Disaster program aids livestock producers who suffer losses due to drought. Fires on federally maintained rangeland are also covered.

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) also helps livestock producers, providing coverage for farms that have incurred excessive animal death because of hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold.

The Tree Assistance Program provides assistance to orchard growers and eligible nursery tree growers in the event of a natural disaster.

The Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program grants emergency relief to livestock, bee and fish producer who suffer losses from inclement weather.

Producers classified as “Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource” or “Beginning Farmer or Ranch” are not required to purchase any form or risk management and don’t have to pay the buy-in fee.

Adam Templeton can be reached at adam.templeton@dtn.com