USDA announces disaster aid for farmers

(STL.News) – US Congressman, Dr. Roger Marshall released the following statement Monday:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Monday agricultural producers impacted by natural disasters in both 2018 and 2019 can apply for financial assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+).  The $3 billion relief package was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in early June and will help ease the financial burden created by excess precipitation and devastating wildfires.

“Agriculture is a profession that bears great risk and Kansas producers can lose their entire operation to Mother Nature’s floods, tornadoes, snowstorms and wildfires in an instant,” Dr. Marshall said.  “This disaster relief package will not make producers whole, but it will ease some of the financial burden so they can continue their operation.  Our farmers, ranchers, and dairy producers provide Americans with the safest, cheapest food supply in the world, and I am proud to stand behind them when times are tough.”

Eligibility for WHIP+ will be determined for each producer based on the size of the loss and the level of insurance coverage elected by the producer.  Producers who elected higher insurance coverage levels will receive a higher WHIP+ factor.  Payments for 2019 disasters will be limited to an initial 50 percent of their calculated value, with an opportunity to receive up to the remaining 50 percent after Jan. 1, 2020, if sufficient funding remains. WHIP+ benefits will be subject to a payment limitation of either $125,000 or $250,000 per crop year, depending upon their verified average adjusted gross income.  Signup for this program begins this Wednesday, Sept. 11.

All producers with flooding or excess moisture-related prevented planting insurance claims in calendar year 2019 will receive a prevented planting supplemental disaster payment equal to 10 percent of their prevented planting indemnity, plus an additional 5 percent will be provided to those who purchased harvest price option coverage.

The Milk Loss Program is a new program which will cover losses for milk dumped or removed from the commercial market and losses of eligible farm stored commodities due to eligible disaster events.

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