USDA Expands Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program



USDA Expands Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program


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WASHINGTON D.C. - On Friday December 12th, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that under the 2014 Farm Bill, the USDA would be expanding the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for specialty crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Some of the crops which will enjoy expanded coverage include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Mushrooms
  • Floriculture
  • Ornamental nursery
  • Aquaculture
  • Turf grass
  • Ginseng
  • Honey
  • Syrup
  • Energy crops

"These new protections will help ensure that farm families growing crops for food, fiber or livestock consumption will be better able to withstand losses due to natural disasters," Secretary Vilsack explained. "For years, commodity crop farmers have had the ability to purchase insurance to keep their crops protected, and it only makes sense that fruit and vegetable, and other specialty crop growers, should be able to purchase similar levels of protection. Ensuring these farmers can adequately protect themselves from factors beyond their control is also critical for consumers who enjoy these products and for communities whose economies depend on them."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Secretary Vilsack shared that this legislation is geared towards helping new and underserved growers as well as those with limited resources. These groups will be eligible for fee waivers and premium reductions for expanded coverage, according to a press release.

"If America is to remain food secure and continue exporting food to the world, we need to do everything we can to help new farmers get started and succeed in agriculture," Vilsack said. "This program will help new and socially disadvantaged farmers affordably manage risk, making farming a much more attractive business proposition."

In order to learn more about how this expanded program could potentially affect your business operation, the USDA has partnered with Michigan State University and the University of Illinois to create online resources for growers. Once determining where their operations fit under the new regulations, eligible producers will have until January 14, 2015, to choose expanded coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

The USDA is also welcoming written comments and suggestions from growers or other interested stakeholders regarding this new policy on its website. Comments can be submitted until Feb. 13, 2015.

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The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing…