Farmers and livestock producers who have been waiting for aid payments for Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) and the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP-Plus) should see payments over the next several week as USDA announced more than $1 billion in aid released starting June 15.
The aid applies to crop losses from 2018 and 2019, said Zach Ducheneaux, administrator for USDA's Farm Service Agency.
“From massive floods to winter storms, and from extreme drought to excess moisture, natural disaster events in 2018 and 2019 were exceptionally catastrophic for agricultural producers nationwide - many suffered the impacts of multiple events in not just one but both years,” Ducheneaux said. “FSA staff worked tirelessly for many months to develop and implement comprehensive disaster programs that meet the varying and unique needs of a large cross-section of U.S. production agriculture. QLA and the second round of WHIP+ assistance will provide much-needed assistance to help producers offset significant financial loss.”
QLA provides assistance to crop and forage producers who suffered a quality loss due to qualifying natural disasters occurring in 2018 or 2019. FSA will begin issuing payments to producers on June 15. FSA accepted applications from Jan. 6 to April 9, 2021. Based on these QLA applications, producers will receive 100% of the calculated assistance under QLA.
For each crop year, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the maximum amount that a person or legal entity may receive, directly or indirectly, is $125,000. Payments made to a joint operation (including a general partnership or joint venture) will not exceed $125,000, multiplied by the number of persons and legal entities that comprise the ownership of the joint operation. A person or legal entity is ineligible for QLA payment if the person's or legal entity's average Adjusted Gross Income exceeds $900,000, unless at least 75% is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities.
Producers who applied for and have received their first WHIP-Plus payment can expect to receive the second payment beginning in mid-June for eligible crop losses. Due to budget constraints, producers received an initial WHIP-Plus payment for 2019 crop losses equal to 50% of the calculated payment. This second payment will be equal to 40% of the calculated payment for a total 90% WHIP-Plus program payment. This second round of WHIP-Plus payments are expected to exceed $700 million. A third round of payments may be issued if sufficient funds become available. Producers with 2018 crop losses have already been compensated at 100%.
USDA cited that all producers receiving QLA program and WHIP-Plus payments are required to purchase federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for the next two available crop years at the 60% coverage level or higher. If eligible, QLA participants may meet the insurance purchase requirement by purchasing Whole-Farm Revenue Protection coverage offered through USDA's Risk Management Agency.
More information on both programs can be found at www.farmers.gov
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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