2014 Farm Bill provides additional NAP buy-up coverage for 2012 fruit crop losses

The 2014 Farm Bill provides retroactive buy-up coverage to Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program producers of eligible non-insurable fruit crops that qualify due to a natural disaster, such as the 2012 freeze.

Many commercial fruit producers, particularly tart cherry producers, are familiar with the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) program because in 2012 it was the only insurance-related, risk management tool available. It covers losses more than 50 percent of the farm Actual Production History (APH) at 55 percent of the national average market price. Those enrolled in the 2012 program should have already received an indemnity payment from losses caused by spring freezes that season.

A provision in the 2014 Farm Bill is the availability of additional coverage under the 2012 NAP, if the loss was due to a natural disaster. This is important to producers of crops grown on trees or bushes that were damaged by the severe frosts during the spring of 2012. According to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) 2012 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program Coverage for Frost, Freeze, or Weather Related Fruit Losses Fact Sheet, July 2014, “Because this assistance is provided retroactively and losses for the 2012 crop year are known, additional assistance will be issued to the applicant at the level that provides the most benefit less the applicable premium fee.” The fact sheet states that the premium will be calculated after the completed application is received. It will be deducted from the payment if the payment is sufficient to cover the calculated premium. If not, no payment will be issued and no premium will be due.

The 2012 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) Coverage for Frost, Freeze, or Weather Related Fruit Losses fact sheet provides an overview of the program including premium, approved yields, application information required and the information FSA uses to calculate a potential payment, along with other pertinent information.

A list of eligible disaster counties is available at 2012 NAP Frost Freeze County. The same counties that were eligible in 2002 are still eligible.

Commercial producers are encouraged to be on the lookout for additional information or announcements. There are still details for implementing the program to be determined. FSA personnel will be trained for this new program shortly. The law requires the application to be completed by September 22, 2014.

Michigan State University Extension recommends that farmers who want to consider crop insurance for their 2015 tree fruit crops should consider meeting with their area crop insurance agent to review options before the fall deadline arrives.

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