USDA details disaster aid package for 2018, 2019
The USDA has announced details of a new disaster aid program to help producers offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters.
Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says the Wildfire
and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) is targeted to losses of crops
that occurred in 2018 and 2019. “Eligibility
for WHIP+ will be for producers who are in a county that either had a
Presidential Disaster or a Secretarial Disaster Declaration in the primary
county,” he says. “However, producers
who are not in counties that have disaster declarations – if they can supply
supporting documentation to prove they were harmed by the storms covered under
this program, they too, would be eligible.”
Producers who suffered losses due to 2018 disasters will be compensated at 100 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once their application is approved. Producers who suffer crop losses due to 2019 disasters will be limited to an initial 50 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment, once their application is approved, with the potential to receive up to the remaining 50 percent after January 1, 2020, if sufficient funds remain.
The aid will also include payments for grain lost when bins flooded
in Nebraska, Iowa, and the Dakotas earlier this year.
Fordyce says producers will need to meet with their local
FSA office and report total lost bushels.
“We will pay 75 percent of 2018 prices,” he says. “The 2018 Price Data is going to come from
NASS’ 2018 price report. We’re assuming
most of that grain that was damage that was stored and was damaged was 2018
WHIP+ also includes a new Milk Loss Program which will provide
payments to eligible dairy operations that dumped or removed milk without
compensation from the commercial milk market.
The milk losses must be due to a qualifying natural disaster in 2018 and
More than $3 billion is available through the disaster relief package passed by Congress and then signed by President Trump in early June.
Enrollment for WHIP+ will begin September 11.
Brownfield is waiting for clarification from the USDA on
planting insurance claim language.