New USDA program for those affected by uncontrollable weather
From California wildfires to hurricanes on the coast, USDA is expanding your recovery options from uncontrollable weather.
USDA rolls out a new Quality Loss Adjustment Program for producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019.
USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey says that the program is designed to fill the gaps left by other risk management programs: “We also recognize that the RMA program have a real challenge trying to cover quality losses in all situations, especially in those years where losses are really high and we see discounts really expand in those years.”
Eligible natural disasters include hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, drought, flooding and blizzards.
Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says that the program only covers quality losses at harvest time and does not extend to moisture issues during storage.
According to Fordyce, “A producer’s harvested, eligible crop must have had at least a 5 percent loss reflected through a quality discount, or if it’s a forage crop, a nutrient loss.”
Producers will also need proof of quality loss.
“When applying, producers are asked to provide verifiable documentation of losses for crops that have been sold, grading must have been completed within 30 days of harvest,” Fordyce states. “For forage crops, a lab analysis must have been completed within 30 days.”
Payments are capped at $125,000 dollars for individuals per year, and $250,000 dollars for the total program. Payments will start to go out after the application period ends on March 5th.
“The reason for that is, this will enable FSA to calculate county averages, where maybe the producer doesn’t have that good, solid third party documentation and the total scope of the QLA payments that were requested,” he adds.
Like other RMA programs, QLA does come with a linkage requirement, which mandates producers must purchase crop insurance for the next two years.
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