Implementing all the parts of the 2008 Farm Bill is a big chore and the staff at USDA has been hard at work on the effort. The latest tool put into place is the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program - called SURE. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack encourages farmers to visit their local Farm Service Agency office starting Jan. 4, 2010 to participate in the program if they suffered crop losses during the 2008 crop year.
SURE provides disaster payments to eligible producers on farms that have been hit by crop production or crop quality losses. The program takes into consideration crop losses on all crops grown by a producer nationwide. SURE provides help in an amount equal to 60% of the difference between the SURE farm guarantee and total farm revenue. The farm guarantee is based on the amount of crop insurance and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage on the farm. Total farm revenue takes into account the actual value of production on the farm as well as insurance indemnities and certain farm program payments.
To be eligible for SURE, producers must have suffered at least a 10% production loss on a crop of economic significance. In addition, producers must meet the risk management purchase requirement by either obtaining a policy or plan of insurance, under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or NAP coverage, for all economically significant crops. For 2008 crops, producers had the opportunity to obtain a waiver of the risk management purchase requirement through a buy-in provision. Producers considered socially disadvantaged, a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without a policy or plan of insurance or NAP coverage.
You can learn more by visiting your local FSA office, or check out www.fsa.usda.gov.