USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds farmers that March 16 is the final date to purchase or modify federal crop insurance coverage on 2020 spring-planted crops.

Producers are encouraged to visit their crop insurance agent soon to learn specific details for the 2020 crop year. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator Growers can use the RMA Cost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online.

Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.

Non-Insured Assistance Program- NAPNAP provides financial assistance to producers of commercial crops for which insurance coverage is not available in order to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses or prevent crop planting.

NAP Deadline for application is:

March 2 for alfalfa, clover, grass, lespedeza, Millet, mixed forage, and vetch.

March 16 for spring seeded/planted vegetables like sweet corn, tomatoes, melons, squash etc.

NAP Buy-Up Coverage OptionThe 2018 Farm Bill reinstates higher levels of coverage, from 50 to 65% of expected production in 5% increments, at 100% of the average market price. Producers of organics and crops marketed directly to consumers also may exercise the “buy-up” option to obtain NAP coverage of 100% of the average market price at the coverage levels of between 50 and 65% of expected production. NAP basic coverage is available at 55% of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50% of expected production.

Buy-up coverage is not available for crops intended for grazing.

NAP Service FeesFor all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.

NAP Enhancements for Qualified Military VeteransThe 2018 Farm Bill NAP amendments specify that qualified veteran farmers or ranchers are now eligible for a service fee waiver and premium reduction, if the NAP applicant meets certain eligibility criteria.

Beginning, limited resource and targeted underserved farmers or ranchers remain eligible for a waiver of NAP service fees and premium reduction when they file form CCC-860, “Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource and Beginning Farmer or Rancher Certification.”

For NAP application, eligibility and related program information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov.

Youth LoansThe Farm Service Agency makes loans to youth to establish and operate agricultural income-producing projects in connection with 4-H clubs, FFA and other agricultural groups. Projects must be planned and operated with the help of the organization advisor, produce enough income to repay the loan and provide the youth with practical business and educational experience. The maximum loan amount is $5,000.

Youth Loan Eligibility Requirements:• Be a citizen of the United States (which includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) or a legal resident alien

• Be 10 years to 20 years of age

• Comply with FSA’s general eligibility requirements

• Be unable to get a loan from other sources

• Conduct a modest income-producing project in a supervised program of work as outlined above

• Demonstrate capability of planning, managing and operating the project under guidance and assistance from a project advisor. The project supervisor must recommend the youth loan applicant, along with providing adequate supervision.

Stop by the county office for help preparing and processing the application forms.

March 16 is the Last Day to make Election Decision for Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage with FSA

If you have not already visited your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office to make your election for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program and to sign your annual enrollment contract, you should call and make your appointment before the March 16 deadline.

If you fail to enroll for 2019 ARC or PLC, you will be ineligible to receive a payment for the 2019 crop year.

ARC and PLC provide financial protections to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms.

if you’re still unsure about the choice of ARC or PLC, we offer online decision tools to help you determine the best program election for your farming operation. To access these tools, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

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