The Crop Disaster Program began December 13 and is expected to end February 25, 2000.
The following are questions and answers for the program:
1. What are the eligible disaster conditions?
Crop losses must be directly attributed to adverse weather and related conditions.
2. When and where will applications be taken from producers?
Applications will be accepted at local Farm Service Agency offices beginning December 13, 1999. The sign-up period is expected to end February 25, 2000.
3. When will payments be issued?
An advance payment of 35% will be issued after the application is approved. Final payments will be issued in April.
4. What rates will be used to calculate payments?
The 1999 Crop Disaster Program payment rates are:
- 65 percent of the maximum established Risk Management price for insured crops
- 65 percent of the NASS 5-year average for non-insurable crops
- 60 percent of the maximum established Risk Management price for uninsured crops.
Note: Crop Revenue Coverage prices can not be used.
5. Will payments be factored?
If the value of all eligible applications exceeds the available money, the payments will be factored.
6. Which crops are eligible for assistance under the 1999 single-year provisions?
All crops for which Federal Crop Insurance is available, regardless of whether insurance was purchased and all crops eligible for NAP.
7. Will pasture losses qualify for assistance?
Pasture losses may be made under the Livestock Assistance Program and NAP, if eligibility requirements are met. Therefore, pasture losses will not be covered under the 1999 Crop Disaster Program.
8. Will assistance be available for prevented planting?
Prevented planting will be covered under the 1999 Crop Disaster Program. Payment will be calculated separately from planted acreage.
9. Is there any loss threshold?
To qualify for the 1999 Crop Disaster Program, losses must exceed 35 percent of normal production. Producers will only be compensated for losses greater than the threshold.
10. Under the 1999 Crop Disaster Program, will FSA use an "historic" yield for determining the 1999 production loss?
Yes, historic production will be the higher of a producer's actual production history or the NASS 5-year county average. If NASS data is unavailable for non-insurable crops, STC's will establish yields using the best data available including county expected yields previously established for NAP.
11. Under the 1999 Crop Disaster Program, must a producer provide actual yield history or can the producer simply accept the NASS 5-year average yield or the STC-established yield for the crop?
FSA will not calculate any approved yields for disaster purposes only. Therefore, producers that do not have an APH/approved yield must accept the county average yield.
12. Are quality losses covered under this program?
Yes, but quality adjustments can not be applied on crops that RMA has already adjusted production due to quality.
13. Will eligibility be calculated on a farm or unit basis?
Units will be used. If units have not been established for a producer, they will be established using basic units according to NAP and crop insurance rules.
14. For the 1999 Crop Disaster Program, will harvested and unharvested payment factors apply?
Yes. There will be prevented planting and unharvested payment factors established for insured, uninsured, and non-insurable crops.
15. Are conservation compliance provisions applicable?
Yes. Conservation compliance provisions apply to all producers.
16. Is there a payment limitation?
An $80,000 per person payment limitation will apply. Any applicable payment limit will be applied before the determination of any National payment factor.
17. How do signed crop insurance waivers affect eligibility?
The signing of a crop insurance waiver will not prevent producers from receiving a disaster program payment, if they are otherwise eligible.
18. Will producers be required to purchase crop insurance in future years?
Legislation requires producers who did not purchase crop insurance in 1999 to purchase crop insurance for 2000 and 2001 crop years on crops that receive a Crop Disaster Program payment.
19. Are producers eligible for this program if they are also receiving benefits under different programs for the same disaster?
Yes. A producer will be eligible to receive benefits under this program and NAP, Multiple Peril Crop Insurance, and FSA Emergency Loans.
20. What year's gross income will be used to determine if the $2.5 million annual gross income limitation is exceeded?
The producer's income from the 1998 tax return will be used.
21. If no appraisal was performed for a crop, what will be required of an applicant to verify acreage not harvested?
The producer will be required to certify to disposition of the crop and whether or not any secondary use or salvage value was obtained. If salvage or secondary use value was received, the producer shall furnish available records, that is, weight tickets, sales receipts, for COC use in determining secondary or salvage
value obtained. If no records of any kind are available, the COC may require the producer to provide input cost, that is, seed receipts, fertilizer bills, etc., to verify a crop was planted.
22. What kind of production evidence is required?
Production records must be acceptable to the COC and must be verifiable. Producers must provide records of production available from any source. If no records are available, a producer must provide a certification as to disposition of the crop and the amount of production. The COC shall establish and
the STC shall approve a maximum loss level for the crop based on other county losses. Producers without evidence will receive the higher of their certified production or the STC-approved maximum loss level for the crop.
23. Some producers are going out of business because 1999 was such a disastrous year. If they apply for their 1999 losses but will not be continuing their insurance coverage because they are no longer in business, can they qualify?
Those producers no longer farming or having an interest in an insurable crop in 2000 and 2001 will be eligible for 1999 Crop Disaster Program payments.
24. If a producer had insurance in 1999, is the producer exempt from taking insurance in 2000 and 2001?
If the producer had insurance on all insurable crops in 1999, legislation does not require that producer to obtain insurance in 2000 and 2001. Premium reductions will apply for 2000 to encourage producers to continue purchase insurance.
25. Will applications be processed for each shareholder on a unit or will the application include all names of all producers sharing in the crop(s) on the unit?
Applications will be taken separately for each producer.
26. Prevented planting (corn) is followed by planting a second different crop (canola) that fails. Is payment earned on both crops?
If a subsequent crop is planted on a prevented planted acreage, the prevented planted crop is not eligible unless the second crop is a cover crop.
27. If a producer requests payment on a crop on only 1 unit, does production from all units the producer has an interest in have to be reviewed?
The COC may require producers to provide records from other units to use in determining acceptable production or to assign production.
For more information, contact:
Scott Stofferahn, State Executive Director
Dale Ihry, Production Flexability Director
Brian Natwick, Program Specialist