COLUMBUS — Fruit, vegetable and specialty crop growers can receive greater protection through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) buy-up program.
According to Steven Maurer, Farm Service Agency state executive director in Ohio, the new options provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops.
Those crops include vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops.
Previously, the program offered coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of 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.
Maurer said the expanded protection could be especially helpful to beginning and traditionally underserved producers, as well as farmers with limited resources, who will receive fee waivers and premium reductions for expanded coverage.
Expanded to more crops
More crops are now eligible for the program, including expanded aquaculture production practices, and sweet and biomass sorghum.
For the first time, a range of crops used to produce bioenergy will be eligible as well.
To help producers learn more about the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and how it can help them, USDA, in partnership with Michigan State University and the University of Illinois, created an online resource.
The web tool, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/nap, allows producers to determine whether their crops are eligible for coverage. It also gives them an opportunity to explore a variety of options and levels to determine the best protection level for their operation.
Jan. 14 deadline
Because the 2015 application closing dates for some crops passed before FSA made the buy-up coverage available, this provides producers with an opportunity to obtain buy-up coverage for those crops for the 2015 crop year by submitting an application for coverage requesting buy-up coverage and paying the service fee.
This applies even if the producer did not previously obtain CAT-level coverage and pay the service fee for the crop.
The deadline is Jan. 14, 2015.
For instance, the application and service fee deadline for the 2015 NAP coverage was Nov. 20 on apples, asparagus, blueberries, caneberries, cherries, chestnuts, forage for hay and pasture, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, honey and maple sap for Ohio.
Since this deadline has passed, producers interested in obtaining additional buy-up coverage must submit an application for buy-up coverage and pay the service fee by Jan. 14, 2015.
For questions or to learn more about the NAP buy-up coverage, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/nap or contact your local FSA office for additional information.
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