By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern

Communities across America depend on farmers and ranchers for a variety of provisions, and those producers’ livelihoods rely on being able to supply them. As uncontrollable environmental setbacks continue to occur with greater severity and frequency, farmers and ranchers should consider taking precautions to protect their operations from drastic losses. Crop insurance is one preventative measure that acts as a safety net and risk management tool for agriculture producers in the midst of climate change and natural disasters. Unfortunately, not all crops and products are insurable, so producers often turn to financial assistance alternatives.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for instances like these. NAP arranges for producers raising non-insurable commodities to receive payments that help cover the cost of compromised production yields resulting from adverse weather such as floods and droughts. Weather events that contribute to crop loss indirectly via disease transmission, infestations, or additional factors that influence farm productivity may also be covered under NAP.

Products eligible for NAP payments include specialty crops, manufacture-related crops, crops harvested to feed livestock, nursery farm products, and a number of other profitable commodities. Applicants requesting payments are required to be financially or labor-invested stakeholders in the farm operation. If the operation’s adjusted gross income (AGI) is $900,000 or higher, then it is ineligible for NAP assistance.

To be eligible for compensation, losses must equal at least 50 percent of expected profits. Payments are calculated based on the type of crop, extent of damage, and expected net production. NAP offers different levels of coverage. On the base level, applicants could potentially be compensated for up to 55 percent of the crop’s market value. Additional NAP coverage is available for producers through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) following acceptance of NAP Basic Provisions and paid premiums and fees.

Due to the complex application process and uncertainty of being approved, producers should not solely rely on NAP to assist in times of need. Securing insurance for crops and land is encouraged in addition to adopting proactive management practices like rotational grazing, maintaining cover crops, and silvopasture that promote resilience to the impacts of climate change natural disasters. These techniques also improve soil health and can increase yields.

Producers interested in checking eligibility for and learning more information about NAP payments can visit the FSA website. View previous Climate Column posts to learn more about USDA’s Livestock Forage Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), and Tree Assistance Program (TAP) that provide producers with financial assistance for a variety of weather-induced casualties.

Click here to review the TAP payment application online (Form CCC 576). Click here to locate an FSA office near you and request form CCC-471 for higher levels of coverage. Documents that provide evidence to claims must accompany the application.

To what extent were your noninsured commodity crops negatively impacted by a natural disaster? Did you receive financial assistance through NAP? What was your experience like?


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