Making NAP easier for under-served producers (Keeping the Farm)
(Editor’s note: Bob Wevodau is the farm program chief for Maryland’s Farm Service Agency.)
A few years back, there was an ad campaign that featured an “Easy Button.”
The idea was when things got tough, you could just hit the “Easy Button,” and poof, your problems were over. It was such a success that Staples began selling “Easy Buttons,” and people bought them up. The only thing was that they didn’t work.
Then again if they did, they’d probably cost a lot more than most people could afford.
Since a functional Easy Button does not exist, the best we can do is strive to make things easier on our producers.
Farming is tough, we don’t need to make it tougher.
There is risk in every planting season. That is why we have crop insurance.
Crop insurance is administered by the Risk Management Agency and does a great job minimalizing the risks producers face. But crop insurance doesn’t include every crop grown in the state.
That is where the Farm Service Agency’s Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program comes in.
NAP provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses or prevents crop planting.
NAP has been around for a while, so what has changed? Beginning with the 2022 crop year, any producer who has submitted a CCC-860 Form, which is the Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification will automatically be signed up for NAP coverage.
If you have filed a CCC-860, FSA will provide you with basic NAP coverage for all eligible crops.
Specifically, FSA is waiving all NAP-related service fees for basic coverage for producers with a CCC-860 on file prior to the application closing date for each crop.
These producers are also eligible to receive a 50-percent premium reduction if they elect higher levels of coverage prior to the application closing date.
In January, FSA sent letters to producers who have a CCC-860 on file informing them of their eligibility for NAP basic coverage.
If you have not received a letter and believe you should have, please contact a local FSA office for additional information.
These new measures have been enacted to remove barriers to available benefits and help under-served producers manage risk.
For those who are not under-served, NAP can be applied for by completing FSA form CCC-471.
Just be mindful of application closing dates to make sure you receive coverage in a timely manner.
The next closing date will be Sept. 1 value loss crops.
As a NAP participant, it’s important to remember to contact your county office when you experience a loss.
Once a crop or planting is affected by a natural disaster, producers with NAP coverage must notify their FSA office and complete Part B “Notice of Loss” on the CCC-576.
This must be completed within 15 calendar days of the earlier of the disaster occurrence, the final planting date if there is prevented planting, the date the damage becomes apparent, or the normal harvest date.
For hand harvested crops, you must notify FSA within 72 hours of the loss becoming apparent.
NAP isn’t always the easiest program to administer at FSA, but thanks to the recent changes it has become easier for under-served producers.
It’s not exactly an “Easy Button” but being eligible for NAP basic coverage by just having a CCC-860 on file, is the next best thing.