USDA Outlines SURE eligibility requirements for 2011 and 2012 crops

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Scherrie Giamanco announced September 13 that legislative authority for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program ends on September 30, 2011. Producers must meet specific eligibility requirements to receive SURE assistance for disasters that occur on or before September 30, 2011, and affect 2011 and 2012 crops.

"The SURE program compensates producers for production and/or quality losses during times of disaster," said Giamanco.

Producers can apply for a 2011 or 2012 SURE payment if a crop of economic significance located in a primary or contiguous disaster county under a Secretarial Disaster Designation suffered at least a 10 percent loss because of disaster occurring on or before September 30, 2011. However, the sign-up period for 2011 and 2012 SURE will not begin until after the national average market prices are determined for each respective crop year, which is normally one year after the applicable crop year.

Crops are not required to be harvested on or before September 30, 2011, to maintain SURE eligibility. A loss claim will only trigger after FSA determines that the loss was because of disaster occurring on or before September 30, 2011. Losses that result from disasters that occur after September 30, 2011, will not be eligible for SURE benefits.

Producers should be following their crop insurance policy for timely notifying their crop insurance company of 2011 and 2012 crop losses. The same is true in that producers must timely file notices of loss with FSA on 2011 and 2012 crops covered under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).

Producers with 2011 and 2012 crops that suffer losses caused by disasters that occur on or before September 30, 2011 must also meet the following criteria:

* for insured crops, the insurance policy defines the coverage period as beginning on or before September 30, 2011

* For Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) crops, the coverage period begins on or before September 30, 2011

* the final planting date according to RMA and FSA (NAP crops only) occur on or before September 30, 2011

Giamanco points out that, "If the crop is planted prior to Septembre 30, 2011, but the final planting date is after September 30, 2011, the crop will not be eligible for SURE benefits."

For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their USDA Service Centers or go online to www.fsa.usda.gov