Growers Affected by Wildfires Eligible for FSA Funds

August 01, 2018

The USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) is offering financial assistance to growers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017. The program, known as the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) was authorized by Congress earlier this year by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Eligibility will be determined for each producer based on the size of the loss and the level of insurance coverage elected by the producer.

The WHIP payment factor ranges from 65 percent to 95 percent, depending upon the level of crop insurance coverage or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage that a producer obtained for the crop. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 will receive 65 percent of the expected value of the crop. Insured producers will receive between 70 percent and 95 percent of expected value; those who purchased the highest levels of coverage will receive 95-percent coverage.

Although it is uncommon for strawberry growers to buy crop insurance, they may apply as uninsured applicants to access the lower tier of funding (65% expected value of the crop). All producers receiving 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase crop insurance and/or NAP, at the 60 percent coverage level or higher, for the next two available crop years to meet statutory requirements.

Growers severely affected by the wildfires of 2017 can read more details about WHIP: at the USDA website or reach out to local FSA representatives.