Crop Disaster Program

The Acts authorizes the Secretary to provide disaster assistance to producers who suffered crop losses in the 2000 crop year because of adverse weather conditions.

Disaster payment provisions apply if the crop could not be planted or production, both in quantity and quality, was adversely affected
by: (1) Damaging weather, including drought, excessive moisture, hail, earthquake, freeze, tornado, hurricane, typhoon, volcano, excessive wind, excessive heat, or a combination thereof; or (2) related conditions of insect infestation such as grasshoppers and Mormon crickets, plant disease such as Pierce's disease and watermelon sudden wilt disease, or other deterioration of the crop, including aflatoxin, that is accelerated or exacerbated naturally because of damaging weather occurring before or during harvest.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - Applications are filed at the local county office of the Farm Service Agency.

The location of all FSA field offices is listed on the WEB at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/edso/ or in the Farm Service Agency section of Appendix IV of the Catalog.


Program Accomplishments

All available program funding will be used among eligible applicants.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Assistance under the Crop Disaster Program will be available for: (1) 2000 crop losses on prevented planted acreage, reduced production of planted acreage, or reduced quality on certain crops; (2) value loss crops, including nursery and aquaculture.

Direct financial compensation will be paid to producers with eligible crop losses greater than 35 percent compared to the historical average county yield or the producers actual production history (APH), whichever is greater.

Persons with a gross revenue in excess of $2.5 million for the 1999 tax year are not eligible for benefits under the 2000 CDP.

The payment limitation for 2000 CDP benefits is $80,000 per person.

There are no use restrictions on the benefits received under this program.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any producer that had a financial risk and received or would have received a share of the 2000 crop will be eligible for benefits, if all other requirements have been met.

Eligible crops for the disaster program include: (1) NAP crops defined in FSA Handbook 1-NAP; (2) crops for which Federal crop insurance is available, regardless of whether insurance was purchased.

The producer must be able to show, with verifiable evidence, that the producer had an interest in the commodity produced or had control of the crop acreage on which this commodity was grown at the time of the disaster, which is the basis for the application for payment.

One of the following shall be obtained as determined by the FSA County Committee: (1) Copies of signed written lease; (2) copies of signed rental agreements; (3) copies of other legal documents showing land ownership or control; (4) statement signed by the landowner that the producer had control of the acreage; (5) statement signed by the operator or producer that the producer had control of the acreage on the farm.

Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Restrictions apply to CDP benefits.

If, subsequent to the disaster, an eligible producer is now deceased or is a dissolved entity, a representative of the deceased producer or dissolved entity may sign the CCC-557 application, if the representative currently has authority to enter into a contract for the producer.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any producer that had a financial risk and received or would have received a share of the 2000 crop will be eligible for benefits, if all other requirements have been met.

Credentials/Documentation

Producers shall provide production records for uninsured, noninsurable, and insured crops not meeting the loss threshold. Acceptable documentation includes verifiable and reliable records. Verifiable records are production records for an eligible crop must be submitted by the producer to support an application, or as required, to support a certification of production. Verifiable records of production include contemporaneous records provided by the producer that: (1) May be verified by FSA through an independent source; (2) are used to substantiate the amount of production reported; (3) verifiable records must be dated, show disposition of the crop's production, including quantity, and be crop specific for crops that are produced more than once in a calendar year. If verifiable records are not available, the producer shall provide reliable records documentation similar to copies of receipts, ledgers or income, income statements of deposit slips, register tapes, invoices for custom harvesting, and records to verify production input costs.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

To prepare for the application procedure, the producer must provide evidence of the existence of the crop, certify to the disaster condition, and provide production totals to FSA.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

The application sign up period runs from January 18, 2001 through May 4, 2001 or such other date as may be announced. The following forms are required to apply for benefits under the Crop Disaster Program: CCC-557 - 2000 Crop Disaster Program Application; CCC-562 - Gross Revenue Certification Statement; CCC-561 - Contract to purchase Crop Insurance; AD-1026 - Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification (if one is not already on file); CCC-502 - Farm Operating Plan for Payment Eligibility Review (if one is not already on file); FSA-578D - Acreage Report (if one is not already on file for non-insured crops).

Award Procedures

The CDP provides a one-time payment for 2000 crop disasters.

Deadlines

Please contact the program contact listed in the Information Contacts section below.

Authorization

The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2001, Public Law 106-387.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

FSA County Offices were authorized to make payments under this program upon publication of the regulations in the Federal Register.

Appeals

All producers receiving adverse decisions regarding their application under the disaster program are afforded appeal rights at several levels culminating at the National Appeals Division, which is a separate entity apart from the Farm Service Agency.

Renewals

Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Eligible producers must have suffered 2000 crop losses in excess of 35%. Crop losses above 35% will be eligible for assistance at 65% of the county crop table price for insured crops or crops in which Federal crop insurance is not available and 60% of the county crop table price for insurable crops in which the producer did not purchase Federal crop insurance. As a condition of receiving benefits under CDP, any producer who elected to not purchase crop insurance on a crop in 2000 for which CDP benefits are requested must purchase crop insurance on that crop for the 2001 and 2002 crop years.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Program payments are made after the application is filed and approved by the COC.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

None.

Audits

FSA will implement a national compliance program to spot check and verify the accuracy of applications received throughout the country. The Office of Inspector General will conduct program audits on a random basis throughout the country.

Records

Participants must maintain production evidence for 3 years.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-4336-0-1-351.

Obigations

(Direct Payments) FY 07 $0; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

There is no minimum amount of assistance which may be received by an individual applicant. The national "person" limit is $80,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

CDP regulations are provided in 7 CFR Part 1480. Agency procedures are listed in Handbook 3-DAP. Disaster Program Fact Sheets may be located on line at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/facts/pubfacts.htm.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Applications are filed at the local county office of the Farm Service Agency. The location of all FSA field offices is listed on the WEB at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/edso/ or in the Farm Service Agency section of Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Production Emergencies and Compliance Division, Compliance Branch, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington DC 20250-0514. Telephone: (202) 720-9882.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

All producers meeting eligibility requirements may receive assistance subject to the national payment factor. Applications are non-competitive.



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