The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Georgia is reminding farmers and landowners of the assistance it offers in the wake of a freeze. The state’s citrus industry suffered damage during the five-night freeze that occurred in late December. The FSA programs are the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).
TAP provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines lost by natural disasters, including freeze. Eligible trees, bushes and vines are those from which an annual crop is produced for commercial purposes. To qualify for TAP, eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers must have suffered a qualifying tree, bush or vine loss exceeding 15% mortality due to an eligible natural disaster.
FSA offers NAP coverage to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against the impacts of natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses or prevent crop planting. To qualify for NAP benefits, eligible causes of loss include damaging weather, such as drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, excessive wind or hurricanes; adverse natural occurrences, such as earthquake or flood; and conditions related to damaging weather or adverse natural occurrences, such as excessive heat, plant disease or insect infestation.
To obtain NAP coverage, eligible producers must apply for coverage and pay the applicable service fee. For all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties. Beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and qualifying military veteran farmers or ranchers are eligible for a waiver of the service fee and a 50% premium reduction.
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