The 2014 Farm Bill includes many new provisions to support specialty crop growers, including updates to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) making it a more attractive risk management tool for farmers. Under the recent Farm Bill, NAP offers increased coverage levels available and special incentives to beginning, traditionally underserved, and limited resource farmers, in addition to special provisions for organic and direct market farmers.
Leah Smith, Champaign County Executive Director at the Farm Service Agency, encourages specialty crop producers and hay growers to consider NAP coverage, and contact the FSA office with any questions. “We hope to grow participation in the NAP program to protect eligible producers of noninsurable crops in the county from losses due to natural disasters,” Smith explains.
What is NAP?
The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provides a kind of insurance for farmers who grow crops that are not covered by federal crop insurance administered by the Risk Management Agency. The Farm Service Agency administers the NAP program, providing financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop loss. The list of eligible crops is extensive, and includes crops grown for food, like fruits and vegetables, hay and forage crops, honey and maple sap, aquaculture, mushrooms, Christmas trees, and ornamental nursery crops. NAP provides catastrophic level (CAT) coverage based on the amount of loss that exceeds 50 percent of expected production at 55 percent of the average market price The 2014 Farm Bill expands NAP to include options for producers to purchase buy-up coverage from 55 to to 65 percent of production at 100 percent of the average market price. NAP also now covers the organic, direct market, fresh, and processing crop values when pricing data is available.
Service fees and premiums
For all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is the lesser of $250 per crop up to a maximum fee of $750 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed $1,875 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties. An additional premium is calculated for buy-up coverage based on the eligible acres, approved yield, coverage level, average market price, and a 5.25 percent premium fee. Beginning farmers with under 10 years of farm operation experience, limited resource farmers, and traditionally underserved farmers, including women, African American, Hispanic, and Asian American farmers, are eligible for a waiver of the service fee and a 50 percent premium reduction.
The deadline to apply for NAP coverage varies by crop. March 15, 2016 is the deadline to apply for 2016 NAP coverage on potatoes and all spring planted specialty crops grown for food. Deadlines for 2016 NAP coverage on nursery, apples, asparagus, blueberries, caneberries, cherries, hay, grapes, stone fruits, strawberries, honey, maple sap, and hops have passed. If you are interested in a NAP policy on one of these crops, contact the FSA office now for more information, and plan to enroll late summer/fall for NAP coverage for the 2017 growing season.
For more information on NAP coverage visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap and contact the Champaign County Farm Service Agency office at 937-484-5527.