Deadline for NAPS signup for many crops is Dec. 1

The application deadline to apply for coverage under Farm Service Agency?s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for many crops is Dec. 1.

This closing date applies to 2009 crop year coverages for alfalfa, grass mixtures and a wide variety of specific fruits and vegetables.

NAP coverage on these crops entitles the producer to a payment of 55 percent of an average market price for the crop if a natural disaster caused a 50 percent or greater production loss of an eligible crop.

NAP is designed to reduce financial losses that occur when natural disasters create crop losses by providing coverage equivalent to at least the lowest available private insurance policy protection.

Due to the changes brought about in the 2008 farm bill that covers crop years 2009-12, NAP coverage for producer?s crops has taken on much increased importance as a result of the institution of the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program.

SURE is the new permanent disaster program available to producers that replaces annually legislated disaster programs of past years.

For any producer to enroll and be eligible for SURE benefits, they are required to purchase at least catastrophic risk protection level private agency crop insurance for all insurable crops and NAP coverage through FSA for all non-insurable crops in all counties, providing they are generating substantial revenue on their farms.

Thus, the failure to timely insure significant grain or hay (including forage) crops with private insurers or by NAP policies will make entire producer farming operations ineligible for SURE payments on any crops.

Administrative service fees are charged and collected in order to help offset the cost of implementing NAP and range from $250 per crop not to exceed $750 per producer per county with a $1,875 maximum fee for producers with multi-county farm interests.

When producers incur losses on a particular crop, they must file notice with their local county FSA office within 15 days after the disaster occurrence, or the date the loss becomes apparent to the producer.

Producers are limited to $100,000 in benefits per person per year, meet adjusted gross income provisions, and comply with conservation compliance provisions in order to be determined program eligible.

Again, we remind producers that it is a must to purchase crop insurance and NAP coverage on whatever you are producing or plan to grow to be eligible for 2009 disaster programs.

Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office in Marion.

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