FSA Scoop: Producers encouraged to take advantage of assistance programs
As we swing into the official start of fall, I want to call to your attention to information we have received in the past few weeks on a couple of programs.
Market Facilitation Program
This new program was announced by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue back in late July, and in Nebraska it applies to producers of corn, sorghum, soybeans and wheat for crops and hogs and dairy on the livestock side.
There are a couple of key points with this new program that I want to highlight:
• The application period is open now through Jan. 15, 2019, so there is a window of time for producers to complete the two-page MFP application. You actually can view and download the application at www.farmers.gov/mfp.
• Your payment for each MFP crop commodity is based on your total 2018 production of each commodity, so for producers of corn, soybeans and sorghum, you need to finish harvest before you’ll have all the information necessary to complete your application for MFP payments for those particular crops.
• This is a producer-certification program, so it is important you maintain verifiable or reliable crop production records to substantiate your reported production totals. Check out the fact sheet to learn more about what this means.
• There are program eligibility requirements and payment caps in place for this program.
We encourage you to review the fact sheet for details, but please don’t hesitate to call our office for additional information. You can reach the Perkins County FSA office at (308) 352-4747, Ext. 2.
New application deadlines
The Nebraska Farm Service Agency (FSA) is reminding producers of new policy application deadlines for several crops covered through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).
NAP provides disaster assistance coverage for crops that are ineligible for federal crop insurance coverage. In Nebraska, this can include crops such as alfalfa, perennial grass forage and grazing crops, honey, fruits, vegetables, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture and turf grass, among others.
Nebraska FSA earlier this year made changes to the policy application closing dates for several crops for the 2019 season. In some cases, the policy application closing deadline is six months earlier than in the past. These new deadlines include:
• Alfalfa and mixed forages, deadline to apply for 2019 coverage: Oct. 1, 2018
• Grass, deadline to apply for 2019 coverage: Nov. 15, 2018
• Aronia berries and grapes, deadline to apply for 2019 coverage: Nov. 20, 2018.
Producers of these crops who wish to have NAP coverage in 2019 must contact their local FSA office prior to the policy application closing deadline.
Like crop insurance, NAP coverage is valuable when weather and disease disasters strike. Eligible causes of loss for NAP include drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture or wind, flooding, excessive heat, among others. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production.
The fee for basic coverage is $250 per crop, with a maximum of $750 per county and a multi-county maximum of $1,875. Beginning, underserved and limited resource farmers are eligible for free catastrophic level of coverage.
To learn more about NAP visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap.