USDA Reminds Producers of Disaster Assistance Application Deadline
New Online Tool Lets Farmers Check Eligibility, Start Application Process
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds producers that the deadline to submit applications for disaster recovery assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) for 2018 and 2019 losses is Friday, Oct. 30. Additionally, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) launched a new tool on farmers.gov to help producers with the application process.
“If you’re unsure of your eligibility, check out the new WHIP+ tool. Not only can this online tool help you determine eligibility, but it also connects you with local FSA staff to help you get your application started and submitted,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “We know 2018 and 2019 had their share of natural disasters, and we encourage impacted producers to apply.”
The new tool documents information about a producer’s operation and helps USDA identify producers who may need more information about or assistance with the program application process. After the online survey is completed, the local FSA county office will follow up with producers who provide contact information.
The program compensates producers for losses due to hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, drought, excessive moisture, and wildfires occurring in calendar years 2018 and 2019.
Drought and excessive moisture were added as eligible losses for the program in March 2020. To date, FSA has received more than 145,000 applications for WHIP+ disaster assistance.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone, and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.