FSA Offers Additional Coverage with Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance ProgramThu, 08 Jan 2015 03:57:09 CST
Francie Tolle, State Executive Director of the Oklahoma Farm Service Agency (FSA), is reminding producers that additional coverage is now available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance. The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect crops for which traditional crop insurance is not available, including hay crops as well as specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, honey, and energy crops.
"Previously, NAP 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," explained Tolle.
If the application deadline for an eligible crop has already passed, producers will have until Jan. 14, 2015, to choose expanded coverage through the program. Examples of those with an application date that has already passed include: fall-planted crops, perennials, nut and fruit orchards, nursery and aquaculture.
The expanded protection will 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. 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 by clicking here, 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.
FSA, which administers the program, also wants to hear from producers and other interested stakeholders who may have suggestions or recommendations on the program. Written comments will be accepted until Feb. 13, 2015 and can be submitted here at the Regulations.Gov website.
To learn more about this program and others available in the state of Oklahoma, click here for the Oklahoma FSA webpage.
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