Last chance for farmers to get aid for 2012 crop losses

May. 12, 2014 @ 08:51 PM

Farmers can now sign up for aid for 2012 crop losses.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency’s Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program allows farmers a final eligibility period in which to get assistance for crop losses caused by national disasters through Sept. 20, 2011, for crops intended for the 2012 harvest.

“Most producers who suffered losses before Sept. 30, 2011, have already been compensated if they applied for SURE benefits for the 2011 crop year,” said FSA administrator Juan Garcia in a release. “This sign-up period is only for those producers who suffered crop losses for 2012 crops before Sept. 30, 2011.”

The program allots a limit of $100,000 per producer; those wishing to get aid from both livestock and crop losses have a combined limit of $100,000.

Since the implementation of both the livestock and crop reimbursement plans, local officials have seen few signups, although they have fielded many inquiries.

“We do not have anyone that has come in to submit an application,” said Christeen Crudup, county executive director for the Farm Service Agency. “We have answered questions over the phone.”

Crudup said many crop producers are in the planting stages of the year, sowing tobacco, corn and soybeans. She expects to see more inquiries and sign-ups in June, closer to crop reporting time.

“I think that most of our producers are out in the field now, so they are not coming into the office,” she said. “They have a time period when they have to report their crop, and they will probably inquire about it then.”

The crop program was established by the 2008 Farm Bill and has these requirements:

• 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance that provides at least 5 percent of the producer’s expected farm revenue.

• The crop was intended for harvest in 2012.

• Coverage on insured crops or coverage through the Non-Insured Crop Assistance Program must have started prior to Sept. 30, 2011.

• Planting dates must be prior to Sept. 30, 2011.

• Have an average non-farm income lower than $500,000.

• Must be physically located in a county declared a primary disaster county or share a border with one. Without such a declaration by the secretary of agriculture, a farm must have had less than half its normal production due to a natural disaster.

Socially disadvantaged or beginner farmers or those with limited resource may be eligible for reimbursement even without insurance.

The sign-up deadline is Aug. 29 for crops.

Livestock assistance, which started in April, is still ongoing offering funds for grazing losses, cattle deaths or hay shortages related to natural disasters.

Anyone needing more information can visit the Vance-Warren County FSA office, 853 S. Beckford Drive, Henderson, or call the FSA office at (252) 438-3134.

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.