September 12, 2008
September 12, 2008 - Farmers and ranchers who are eligible for disaster assistance under certain new Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance programs for losses caused by natural disasters in calendar year 2008, but who are not fully covered by crop insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), have until Sept. 16, 2008, to pay the buy-in fee for 2008 crops, including grazing lands.
Teresa Lasseter, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA), this week reminded farmers and ranchers of this important disaster assistance program's deadline.
"If your crops or land are not insured, I urge you to take advantage of this one-time opportunity. If you miss this deadline, you will be ineligible for these disaster assistance programs for your 2008 crops," said Lasseter.
The 2008 Farm Bill authorized five new Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance programs: the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment (SURE) program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); Tree Assistance Program (TAP); Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) program. The buy-in waiver applies to SURE, TAP, LFP and ELAP for 2008 crop production and livestock losses.
To be eligible under the 2008 Farm Bill for disaster assistance under SURE, ELAP and TAP, producers must have enrolled in crop insurance or NAP for all crops in all counties in which they have an interest, including grazing and hayland. To be eligible for disaster assistance for LFP, producers need only have crop insurance or NAP coverage for the specific grazing land for which assistance is being requested.
Since the 2008 Farm Bill was enacted after the crop insurance and NAP application periods had closed, producers who did not buy coverage could not now comply with this requirement. However, the 2008 Farm Bill provides authority for a waiver for 2008 that allows producers to pay a fee to be eligible for the new disaster assistance.
Farmers and ranchers with questions on whether certain acres must be insured to be eligible for disaster assistance should contact their local FSA county office before the Sept. 16 buy-in waiver deadline.