Disaster Assistance Programs protect farmers from unforseeble circumstances


Hello, friends:

While driving in Darke County earlier this fall, I drove past miles and miles of corn fields that lined both sides of the road. One evening driving west into the setting sun, I noticed just a little, almost clear splatter on my windshield. Within a second there was another, then another, pretty soon I was having a very hard time seeing through these little spatters on my windshield.

I had the great idea of trying out the windshield wipers to clean them off, still not having any idea what was making these little messes. Needless to say, the washer fluid did not improve the situation; it only made it worse. With the gooey smear and the sunlight, I felt like I was looking through frosted glass. When I finally turned onto a southern road, I was able to pull over and remove enough of the mess to get myself to a car wash.

I learned the next day that I had had an encounter with a corn borer. These little bugs feed off of the corn, so it was like having corn syrup thrown on my windshield.

Planting crops each year can be just like this unforeseen surprise driving down the road. Our vision is blurred by the unforeseen circumstances that can come our way.

Insurance can be a great form of protection for the unforeseeable. The Farm Service Agency offers the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to producers that plant non-insurable crops and suffer a low yield, a loss of inventory, or prevented planting occurs due to a natural disaster.

Any producer who shares in the risk of producing an eligible commodity is eligible to enroll their crops in the NAP program. Producers’ average nonfarm adjusted gross income cannot exceed $500,000 and a producer cannot earn more than $100,000 per year. Producers are also required to submit an annual report of acres and also report their production for all covered commodities.

Eligible crops must be non-insurable and commercially produced for which the catastrophic risk protection level of crop insurance is not available. Please contact your local crop insurance agent with questions regarding insurability of a crop in your county.

The natural disaster must occur before or during harvest and must directly affect the eligible crop.

Eligible producers can apply for the NAP program through the local Farm Service Agency by submitting Form CCC-471, as well as paying the applicable service fees. The application and service fees must be filed by the application closing date as established by the producer’s FSA state committee.

The next insurance deadline is Nov. 20, 2011. This will include all hay crops that need to be insured in order to maintain eligibility for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE). NAP covers the amount of loss greater than 50 percent of the expected production based on the approved yield and reported acreage.

For more information contact your local FSA Office or visit the local USDA Service Center or online at www.fsa.usda.gov.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy


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