USDA Update - March 24, 2020

Agriculture USDA Service Center Update
Published Tuesday, March 24, 2020
by Eads USDA Service Center Staff

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • 2020- ARCPLC enrollment - Deadline June 30, 2020  
  • 2020 PLC YIELD UPDATE - September 30, 2020
  • WHIP+ signup - Begins March 23, 2020 
  • CRP Grasslands Signup - signup March 16 -  May 15th -  $6.00 an acre in Kiowa
  • Farm Loan personnel in Eads Office - 2nd Tuesday every month

Disclaimer:  Information in this UPDATE is pertinent to Kiowa County FSA only.  Producers reading this and that do not have FSA interest in Kiowa County are advised to contact their local FSA Office. 

COVID-19 USDA GUIDANCE

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, the USDA Service Center is closed to public access.  Customers can call 719-438-5851 and schedule a phone appointment or can call with questions.  The staff is working and will continue to provide customer service. Customers can use email, fax and phones to contact the office and/or employees.   Contact information is provided below.  

WHIP+ Wildfires, Hurricanes Indemnity Program Plus 

Below, readers will see information regarding WHIP+ program.  Kiowa County is eligible for this program due to drought conditions experienced in 2018.  However, as with any new program there are an outstanding number of questions from FSA office staff.  Therefore, we ask that producers be very patient regarding this program.  The office will contact producers as we work through the application process, producers DO NOT need to contact the Eads FSA Office to schedule an appointment, at this point.   

The portion below is from a Press Release from USDA regarding the program.  

USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) will open signup on March 23 for producers to apply for eligible losses of drought (D3 or above) and excess moisture. USDA is also entering into agreements with six sugar beet processing cooperatives to distribute $285 million to grower members of those cooperatives who experienced loss.

In June 2019, more than $3 billion was made available through a disaster relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. In December 2019, Congress passed, and President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 that provides an additional $1.5 billion for the continuation of disaster assistance program delivery.

WHIP+ New Qualifying Disaster Events

The Appropriations bill added excessive moisture and D3 and D4 drought as qualifying losses for WHIP+ assistance.

Beginning March 23, producers who suffered either of these types of loss in 2018 and/or 2019 can apply for WHIP+ assistance at their local FSA office. For drought, a producer is eligible if any area of the county in which the loss occurred was rated D3 (Extreme Drought) or higher on the U.S. Drought Monitor during calendar years 2018 or 2019.

WHIP+ for Quality Loss

In addition, producers have reported widespread crop quality loss from eligible disaster events that results in price deductions or penalties when marketing the damaged crops. The Appropriations bill expands WHIP+ to include assistance for crop quality loss. FSA is gathering data and input from producers and stakeholders regarding the extent and types of quality loss nationwide.

Eligibility

To be eligible for WHIP+, producers must have suffered losses of certain crops, trees, bushes, or vines in counties with a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or a Secretarial Disaster Designation (primary counties only) for the following named natural disaster events; hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, wildfires, and now excessive moisture that occurred in 2018 or 2019. Also, losses located in a county not designated by the Secretary as a primary county may be eligible if the producer provides documentation showing that the loss was due to a qualifying natural disaster event.

For drought, counties having a D3 or D4 Drought Monitor classification in any portion of the county anytime during calendar year 2018 or 2019 will also be eligible.  Kiowa County and many counties in Colorado were designated at a D3 level for 2018.  Drought maps can be accessed by visiting USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) will open signup on March 23 for producers to apply for eligible losses of drought (D3 or above) and excess moisture.

WHIP+ New Qualifying Disaster Events

The Appropriations bill added excessive moisture and D3 and D4 drought as qualifying losses for WHIP+ assistance.

Beginning March 23, producers who suffered either of these types of loss in 2018 and/or 2019 can apply for WHIP+ assistance at their local FSA office. For drought, a producer is eligible if any area of the county in which the loss occurred was rated D3 (Extreme Drought) or higher on the U.S. Drought Monitor during calendar years 2018 or 2019.  The U.S. Drought Monitor is available at droughtmonitor.unl.edu, click 'maps' and 'map archive'.  Users can filter the date, area type, Kiowa entered a D3 status the week of May 29, 2018.

WHIP+ for Quality Loss

In addition, producers have reported widespread crop quality loss from eligible disaster events that results in price deductions or penalties when marketing the damaged crops. The Appropriations bill expands WHIP+ to include assistance for crop quality loss. FSA is gathering data and input from producers and stakeholders regarding the extent and types of quality loss nationwide.

"Providing assistance for quality loss is complicated, and we are actively gathering data and input on how to administer quality loss assistance for producers," said Farm Production and Conservation Undersecretary Bill Northey.

Eligibility

To be eligible for WHIP+, producers must have suffered losses of certain crops, trees, bushes, or vines in counties with a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or a Secretarial Disaster Designation (primary counties only) for the following named natural disaster events; hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, wildfires, and now excessive moisture that occurred in 2018 or 2019. Also, losses located in a county not designated by the Secretary as a primary county may be eligible if the producer provides documentation showing that the loss was due to a qualifying natural disaster event.

For drought, counties having a D3 or D4 Drought Monitor classification in any portion of the county anytime during calendar year 2018 or 2019 will also be eligible.  A list of counties that received qualifying hurricane declarations and designations is available at farmers.gov/recover/whip-plus

Because livestock losses are covered by other disaster recovery programs offered through FSA, these losses are not eligible for WHIP+.

Emails:  

FSA:  dawna.weirich@usda.gov

          charla.ferris@usda.gov

          hallie.barlow@usda.gov

NRCS:  steven.schmidt3@usda.gov

             scott.smith3@usda.gov

Phone:  719-438-5851 ext 2

FAX:  844-332-7501

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