02/12/04 — Financial assistance is available for farmers

View Archive

Financial assistance is available for farmers

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on February 12, 2004 2:02 PM

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provides financial assistance to eligible producers affected by natural disasters. This federally-funded program covers noninsurable crop losses. Growers of noninsurable crops have only until Feb. 28 to apply for risk protection coverage for crop losses in 2004.

"NAP gives producers the opportunity to purchase affordable protection against crop losses, but they need to act quickly. Like crop insurance, once application period closes, the opportunity to obtain coverage is gone," said Rick Tharrington, county executive director for the Farm Service Agency in Wayne County.

Crops eligible for NAP coverage are those for which crop insurance is not available, including fruits and vegetables, aquaculture, turfgrass and forage crops. NAP coverage requires a service fee of $100 per crop, per producer with a $300 cap per county. Out-of-pocket expenses for any producer will not exceed $900, even if production occurs in more than three counties. Service fees may be waived for eligible limited resource producers.

Feb. 28 is the 2004 NAP closing dates for the following crops: asparagus, basil, beans, brussels sprouts, cantaloupes, cilantro, cucumbers (fresh and process), dill, eggplant, honeydew melons, millet, mint, okra, peppers, popcorn, pumpkins, radishes, rosemary, sprite melon, squash, sunflowers, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tarragon, tomatoes, and watermelons.

In order to be eligible for benefits, applicants must have a timely-filed acreage report and necessary crop loss documentation. USDA recommends producers contact their local USDA Service Center for further information and 2004 eligibility requirements.