The Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, or NAP, is a federally-funded program, providing financial assistance to growers of specialty, forage and grazing crops, including pasture when there are yield losses. Randall Guill, Madison County executive director with the Farm Service Agency told a group of producers at a no-till, cover crops and grazing workshop in Norfolk recently that the deadline for NAP signup is coming up fast.
Producers have until March 15 to apply for NAP assistance for this growing season at their local FSA office. Producers should not expect huge returns from the program, but it can help cover some portions of drought loss. "It is not like a typical crop insurance policy," Guill said. "It only covers a catastrophic loss in case you have a big event."
Established in 2001, growers qualifying for assistance must have 50% losses. Producers are paid on the amount of loss they experience for their crops above 50%. For assistance on loss of grazing land, losses are figured from an appraisal by two independent specialists and payments are based on the Animal-Unit-Day, or AUDs, specific for a producer's area in the state. "Expected yields are set by the state FSA committee," Guill said. "They are county-specific for irrigated and dryland and based as if they were mechanically harvested."
The non-insured crops must be certified, like crops in other commodity farm programs. Producers are charged $250 per crop certified in an individual county, with a maximum cost of $750 per county or $1875 for all counties a producer operates in. To be eligible for coverage, farmers must fall within Adjusted Gross Income guidelines, file a farm business plan as with other farm programs, and be in compliance of all highly-erodible and wetland provisions.
While the sign-up deadline for certifying fall-seeded crops, forage, grazing and cover crops was Nov. 15, 2012, FSA waived the usual $100 late fee on certification, and is allowing farmers to certify these crops now without paying the penalty. With the regular NAP signup deadline for spring and summer crops like pasture, spring and summer forages coming up on March 15, coverage for these crops will begin on May 1, Guill said. At signup time, producers should be able to identify the crops they will want covered, and provide any production history they might have, he said. For grazing land like pasture, established yield and payments are based entirely on the appraisals.
If you'd like to learn more about the NAP program, contact your local FSA office, or contact Guill at 402-675-2745, extension 2 or email email@example.com.