WHIP+ may be available for eligible producers who have incurred eligible losses of certain crops, trees, bushes, and vines in counties where heavy snowfall occurred within the growing season. Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, or NAP, coverage is available, excluding crops intended for grazing.

For instance, producers that incurred losses on unharvested crops due to the early snowstorms this fall are encouraged to contact their local FSA office to file a WHIP+ application, form FSA-894 or to be placed on an appointment list.

To be eligible for WHIP+, the first criteria is that incurred losses were a result of a qualifying disaster event such as snowstorms. A notice of loss must be on file with crop insurance or at FSA for NAP covered crops. For uninsured crops, a notice of loss must be filed with FSA as part of the WHIP+ application. Producers must provide documentation to support the loss was due to snow as a result of the snowstorms.

Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP+. However, all producers receiving WHIP+ payments will be required to purchase crop insurance or NAP, at the 60 percent coverage level or higher to meet linkage. Regulations state that coverage must be obtained for the next two available, consecutive crop years after the crop year for which WHIP+ payments were paid. The definition of 2 consecutive crop years for WHIP+ is 2022 and 2023. Producers who fail to purchase crop insurance in 2022 and 2023 may be required to pay back the WHIP+ payment.

At the time of sign-up, producers may be asked to provide verifiable and reliable production records. If a producer is unable to provide production records, they can certify their production. WHIP+ payments will be determined based on the lower of either the actual loss certified by the producer and determined acceptable by FSA or the county expected yield and county disaster yield. The county disaster yield is the production that a producer would have been expected to make based on the eligible disaster conditions in the county.

The WHIP+ Fact Sheet of October 2019 provides additional information regarding the WHIP+ program. County office employees can also address questions regarding the WHIP+ program. For questions, contact the local FSA office and visit: https://www.farmers.gov/recover/whip-plus.

Source: Havre Daily News