FSA promoting assistance programs

The Kansas Farm Service Agency is encouraging producers to pay a fee to become eligible for the 2008 Supple?mental Disaster Assistance Programs authorized in the Food, Conser?vation and Energy Act of 2008.

The act created five new disaster programs, collectively referred to as the Supplemental Disaster Assistance Programs, including Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised fish; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program; and Tree Assistance Program.

To be eligible for these programs, producers must purchase at least catastrophic risk protection level of private agency crop insurance for all insurable crops and/or Noninsurance Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage through the FSA for all non-insurable crops.

Because the deadline to purchase CAT or NAP coverage for 2008 crops passed prior to the enactment of the farm bill late last May, producers who were eligible to purchase 2008 crop insurance or NAP but did not, can ?buy-in? to be eligible to participate in the 2008 disaster programs by paying an administra?tive fee.

The buy-in fee must be paid at the administrative FSA county office by Sept. 16. The buy-in fees do not provide any CAT or NAP coverage, but provides eligibility to participate in the 2008 disaster programs. All crop acreage in all counties that is planted or intended to be planted for harvest must be covered.

To become eligible for 2008 disaster programs, producers must fill out a CCC-752 for insurable crops and a CCC-753 for noninsurable crops and pay applicable buy-in fees.

For CAT and NAP the fees are $100 per crop, but not more than $300 per producer per county, or $900 total per producer, for all counties, less any previously paid fees for CAT or NAP. These fees and limits apply separately for CAT and NAP.

Producers who meet the definition of a ?socially disadvantaged, limited resource, or beginning farmer or rancher? are not required to pay the buy-in fee. Producers should contact their administrative FSA county office to determine if they meet one of those definitions.

For 2009 disaster program eligibility, buy-in fees are not authorized. Producers must purchase crop insurance and NAP coverage on all commodities to be eligible for 2009 disaster programs.

n SURE, TAP and ELAP: must timely obtain crop insurance for each insurable commodity and NAP for each noninsurable commodity on all crop acreage in all counties.

n LFP: must timely obtain crop insurance for insurable commodities or timely obtain NAP on grazed land.

n LIP: is exempt and does not require CAT or NAP coverage for eligibility.

Producers should check with their local crop insurance agent for the 2009 crop insurance closing dates. Most fall crops, such as winter wheat and barley, have a crop insurance sales closing deadline of Sept. 30.

For 2009 NAP coverage, the application closing dates for Kansas are:

n Sept. 1: aquaculture, barley, canola, Christmas trees, nursery crops, rye, triticale, turf grass sod and wheat.

n Dec. 1: all grasses, alfalfa, apricots, cherries, clover, grapes, honey, mixed forage, oats, peaches, plums and strawberries.

n Jan. 1: apples and pears.

n March 15: coarse grains (double crop sorghum, soybeans), vegetable and melon crops, cotton, pecans, pumpkins, safflower and walnuts.

Producers must pay buy-in fees by Sept. 16 to be eligible for 2008 disaster programs and purchase 2009 crop insurance and 2009 NAP coverage by the applicable closing dates to be eligible for 2009 disaster programs.

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