Rick Kelley acknowledges that some Farm Service Agency programs are difficult to understand. He is on the State FSA staff. One of those programs is SURE. The big thing he wants farmers to know is that the deadline to apply is September 30. With an early harvest looming, he suggests producers visit their FSA offices now to see if it's a program they qualify for. Once harvest begins in earnest, the deadline may slip by and for some, dollars could go by the wayside.
Steve Brown, in the field with FSA and a former interim director at the state level, says that basically the program provides benefits for 2008 through 2011 crop years for farm revenue losses due to natural disasters. The Sept 20 sign up date is the last opportunity to claim losses for the 2008 year.
The program reimburses not only producers who were in disaster counties, as declared by USDA, but in counties contiguous, or next to, a county where a disaster was declared.
As you might expect, there are many hoops to jump through to quality. One of the biggest is that you must have purchased a policy or plan of insurance for all crops through either the Federal Crop Insurance Act or FSA's Non-insured crop disaster assistance program. But if you're socially disadvantaged, have limited resources or are a beginning farmer, that requirement is waived.
If that isn't enough to convince you that the program is complicated, here are five questions from the frequently asked question list about the program. Thanks to Brown for providing these questions.
One. If a farm is located in multiple counties, do all eh counties have to have a secretarial disaster declaration?
Answer: No. The farm is eligible as along as part of the farm is located in a county that has a declaration, or a contiguous county. A farm can also be eligible if the overall production loss was greater than 50%.
Two. Does SURE cover losses for all crops grown on the farm?
Answer: Some crops are not eligible, such as grazed forages, cops planted after the initial crop and subsequent corps planted in unapproved doublecrop areas.
Three. Can a producer participate in the 2008 SURE if all crops of economic significance are not covered by crop insurance or NAP?
Answer: Only if the crops were made eligible during the SURE buy-in periods. Exceptions for Socially disadvantage producers, limited resource producers and beginning farmers exist.
Four: Is crop revenue based on individual receipts?
Answer: No. The revenue for each crop is determined by multiplying the farm's production quantity multiplied by the national Average Market Price for the crop, not the actual price received by the producer.
Five: Can historical records be provided to increase the yields for the farm in order to increase the program guarantee?
Answer: No. Yields are based on the established crop insurance or NAP yields. If a producer does not have a crop insurance or NAP yield, a yield based on a percentage of the county expected yield will be used.