Background: USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to a natural disaster.
Eligible Producers: An eligible producer is a landowner, tenant or sharecropper who shares in the risk of producing an eligible crop and is entitled to an ownership share of that crop. The 2014 Farm Bill specifies that an individual’s or entity’s average adjusted gross income (AGI) cannot exceed $900,000 to be eligible for NAP payments.
Eligible Crops: Eligible crops must be commercially produced agricultural commodities for which crop insurance is not available. Crop insurance agents can answer questions about insurability of crops in specific counties. FSA county offices can provide information on whether a given crop is eligible for NAP coverage.
Eligible Causes of Loss: Eligible causes of loss include the following natural disasters:
- Damaging weather, such as drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, excessive wind or hurricanes;
- Adverse natural occurrences, such as earthquake or flood; and
- Conditions related to damaging weather or an adverse natural occurrence, such as excessive heat, plant disease, volcanic smog or insect infestation.
The natural disaster must occur during the coverage period, before or during harvest, and must directly affect the eligible crop.
Coverage Level: NAP provides catastrophic level (CAT) coverage based on the amount of loss that exceeds 50 percent of expected production at 55 percent of the average market price for the crop.
The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes additional coverage levels ranging from 50 to 65 percent of production, in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Additional coverage must be elected by a producer by the application closing date. Producers who elect additional coverage must pay a premium in addition to the service fee. Crops intended for grazing are not eligible for additional coverage.
Applying for Coverage: Producers must apply for NAP coverage and pay the applicable service fee at the FSA office where their farm records are maintained. Application closing dates vary by crop.
Sales Closing Dates: The sales closing dates for eligible crops are established by each FSA State Committee. Generally, the closing date is in mid-March for most annual crops in New England and mid- to late-November for perennial crops. Honey, maple, nursery and floriculture crops have different closing dates. It’s important to check with the FSA office in your state for the exact dates.
Service Fees and Premiums: For all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is the lesser of $250 per crop or $750 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,875 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.
Producers who elect additional coverage must also pay a premium equal to the producer's share of the crop times the number of eligible acres devoted to the crop times the approved yield per acre times the coverage level times the average market price times a 5.25 percent premium fee. The maximum premium cost payable by a producer is $6,562.50 regardless of the number and value of the crops covered. (The maximum premium cost is related to the maximum payment limitation of $125,000.)
Beginning, limited resource, and traditionally underserved farmers are eligible for a waiver of the service fee and a 50 percent premium reduction. Producers eligible for the service fee waiver and premium reduction must file appropriate forms with FSA and meet agency requirements.
More Information: More information on NAP is available from your local FSA office. Alternatively, you can go to FSA's website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/noninsured-crop-disaster-assistance/index which features an online tool to help you determine crop eligibility and premium costs.