With T.S. Fay making its way through the state, wanted to make sure everyone is aware that under the new Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Programs included in the 2008 Farm Bill, producers must have crop insurance or non-insured crop disaster assistance (NAP) coverage for the land for which assistance is being requested, and for all farms in all counties in which they have an interest, including grazing lands in order to be eligible to participate in the disaster programs.
Since the 2008 Act was enacted after the application periods had closed for those programs, producers who did not have such coverage could not comply with this requirement in order to be eligible for the new disaster programs. However, the 2008 Act authorizes a waiver that allows producers to pay a fee, called a “buy-in” fee, to be eligible for this new disaster assistance.
The buy-in fee for 2008 eligibility only for either the catastrophic risk protection insurance (CAT) or NAP is $100 per crop, but not more than $300 per producer per administrative county, or $900 total per producer for all counties less any previously paid fees for CAT and/or NAP. Producers can contact their local administrative Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office to file the application for waiver and pay the applicable fees. Pinellas calls 813-752-1474.
The buy-in fee is due no later than Sept. 16, 2008, 90 days after the date of enactment, as required by the 2008 Act. Those who miss this opportunity will not be eligible for disaster assistance. Producers are also reminded that the payment of the applicable buy-in fee does not afford the producer crop insurance or NAP coverage; it only affords eligibility for the 2008 disaster programs.
The following programs are included in the Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Program in the Farm Bill:
Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program
Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)
Tree Assistance Program (TAP)
Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)
Note: While the Livestock Indemnity Program is part of the Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Program, it is exempt from the CAT/NAP purchase requirement.
Fact Sheet on the 2008 Crop Year Buy-in for Disaster Assistance Programs. http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/buyinwaiver08.pdf
An additional note: In order for our producers to be eligible for this program, we will have to ask for a USDA Secretarial Disaster Declaration in addition to the Presidential Disaster Declaration that is requested during storms/hurricanes. We work closely with FSA during these times so please feel free to send any loss estimates and data that become available as the storm exits the state to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nelson Mongiovi at email@example.com.
Thanks and good luck!
P.S. I know that most of you are aware of this already but just thought I would send a gentle reminder. I also understand that there are some citrus issues that have arisen with this buy-in and are currently being worked on.
Federal State Director Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(850) 410-6726 Office
(850) 922-4936 Fax
(850) 251-1310 Mobile