Ag Policy Blog

WHIP-Plus and QLA Applications and Payments

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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A flooded field in 2019. WHIP-Plus paid for disasters in 2018 and 2019. Enrollment for the main program ended last fall, but it was reopened in January for producers to file claims for quality losses. (DTN file photo)

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

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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