Sometimes questions from emails create a theme. Among those themes: What happened to the second WHIP-Plus payments?
Basically, USDA still is tallying quality losses added to the program.
The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Plus Program (WHIP-Plus) paid producers for disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019. And WHIP-Plus had a lot of tweaks over time.
According to USDA, the Farm Service Agency has approved 222,675 WHIP-Plus applications and the department has distributed $2.2 billion in payments. That's up from about $1.5 billion in payments to 150,000 producers USDA had paid out in early January.
Congress passed an aid bill last December that provided another $1.5 billion to pay out additional WHIP-Plus claims, but lawmakers also wanted funds to pay for quality losses as well. The Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) program was tacked onto WHIP-Plus.
The quality losses also have to be tied to a major natural disaster -- tornado, flood, hurricane, drought, etc., -- that occurred in a county named in a qualifying presidential emergency disaster designation or a secretarial disaster designation in 2018 or 2019. Crops grown in counties could be eligible if the loss happened in a county with a D3 (extreme drought) or higher rating on the U.S. Drought Monitor during 2018 or 2019.
To receive aid under the Quality Loss Adjustment Program (QLA), a farmer growing a 2018 or 2019 crop would need "verifiable documentation" that show at least a 5% loss through a quality discount. Forage crops would have to show lab results reflecting nutrient losses in the crops.
DTN's details on WHIP-Plus and QLA in January: https://www.dtnpf.com/…
USDA stated FSA right now is still going through both WHIP-Plus and QLA applications.
“Once all the WHIP-Plus and QLA applications are processed, FSA will be able to project estimated payment totals for both programs,” USDA stated to DTN.
One issue not raised in the WHIP-Plus discussion is whether Congress will include any provisions to extend WHIP-Plus to cover disaster losses in 2020.
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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