Fire conditions cause of concern for area fire depts.

The Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers new and improved crop loss coverage opportunities beginning with crop year 2001. ‘Unlike the old NAP, and other disaster programs that take time to implement, the new NAP program will provide immediate relief to farmers,’ said FSA’s County Executive Director, Bobby Schmidt. ‘Appraisers will inspect the damaged crops, the County Committee will review the claim and payments will be issued once the loss threshold is reached.’ NAP covers 50% of the producer’s expected production at a payment rate equal to 55% of the crop’s average market price. Benefits are limited to $100,000 per crop year for each participant. Since the 1995 crop year, FSA has offered NAP assistance for noninsurable crops each time a widespread catastrophic loss occurred due to damaging weather. Beginning with crop year 2001, availability of NAP benefits will be based on producers’ individual crop losses, rather than on losses occurring in a large area. These guaranteed benefits, subject to a minimal administrative fee, will provide risk protection during the time when crops are most vulnerable and will be individualized based on the farmer’s ability to produce the crop. NAP covers all noninsurable, commercially grown crops produced for food and fiber, including honey, forage and grazing crops, turfgrass sod, Christmas trees, seed crops and aquaculture. Crops in McCulloch County that would be eligible for NAP include Sudex (haygrazer hay), improved grass hay, improved grass seed, rangeland and improved grass grazing, peanuts, grapes, pecans, watermelons, and cantaloupe. To be eligible for assistance, applicants must pay a nonrefundable administrative fee of $100 per crop, per county. Fees are capped at $300 per county not to exceed $900 for farmers with interests in multiple counties. Applicants are encouraged to provide prior years’ production data to FSA to establish a documented yield history for loss calculations and payments. To be eligible for NAP, a farmer must have risk in producing the crop and must comply with a conservation plan. The applicant’s gross income cannot exceed $2 million. FSA is currently accepting applications for NAP coverage for 2001 crops. Farmers who sustained weather-related crop damage to a 2001 NAP crop and timely reported acreage by the July 16, 2001 final acreage reporting date and timely report losses within 15 days after harvest or when damage has become apparent, may be eligible for coverage. The application period for 2001 crops will end 30 days after the Federal Regulations are published. Producers with noninsurable crops should contact the McCulloch County FSA office at (915) 597-1512 option 2 for more information.

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