Tree Assistance Program-2014 Farm Bill

TAP provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines damaged by natural disasters.




Related Programs

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 - See Regional Agency Offices.


Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

TAP is a permanent disaster program and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to October 1, 2011.

Eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers will be compensated for eligible tree, bush, and vine losses that occurred in the calendar year (or loss period in the case of plant disease) for which benefits requested and as a direct result of a natural disaster.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible for benefits, an individual or legal entity must be a citizen of the United States (U.S.); Resident alien; Partnership of citizens of th U.S; or Corporation, limited liability corporation, or other farm organizational structure organized under Sate law.

An eligible orchardists is a person or legal entity that produces annual crops from trees, bushes, or vines for commercial purposes.

An eligible nursery tree grower is a person or legal entity that produces nursery, ornamental, fruit, nut, or Christmas trees for commercial sale.

To qualify for TAP, the eligible orchardist or nursery tree grower must have planted, continuously owned, and suffered eligible losses of trees, bushes, or vines that were planted for commercial purposes; and replaced eligible trees, bushes, and vines within 12 months from the date the application is approved.

An eligible loss is loss or damage as a result of a natural disaster; the individual stand must have sustained a mortality loss or damage loss in excess of 15 percent after adjustment for normal mortality or damage due to disaster event or plant disease; the loss could not have been prevented through reasonable and available measures; the damage or loss must be visible and obvious to the FSA representative; and FSA may require information from a qualified expert to determine extent of loss in the case of plant disease or insect infestation.

An eligible natural disaster means plant disease, insect infestation, drought, fire, freeze, flood, earthquake, lightning, or other natural occurrence of such magnitude or severity so as to be considered disastrous.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The eligible orchardists and nursery tree grower receives the ultimate benefits from TAP.

Credentials/Documentation

The eligible applicant must present a written estimate of the number of trees, bushes, or vines lost or damaged that is certified by the producer or qualified expert, including the number of acres on which the loss occurred. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. To apply for TAP a orchardist or nursery tree grower must submit a completed application provided by FSA; an acreage report for the farming operation; a written estimate of the number of trees, bushes, or vines lost or damaged; and sufficient evidence of the loss, a farm operating plan.

Award Procedures

Payments to eligible orchardist or nursery tree growers who suffered losses in excess of 15 percent damage or mortality will be calculated using the lesser of 65 percent of the actual cost of the practice or the amount calculated using rates established by the Deputy Administrator for the practice. For the cost of pruning, removal, and other costs incurred for salvaging damaged trees, bushes, or vines, or in the case of mortality, to prepare the land to replant trees, buses, or vines, the lesser of 50 percent of the actual cost of the practice, or the amount calculated using rates established by the Deputy Adminstrator for the practice.

Deadlines

Apr 15, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014: Applicants who suffered losses on or after October 1, 2011 may sign up for TAP benefits through the end of calendar year 2014. Applicants who suffered a loss on or after October 1, 2011, through the end of the 2014 calendar should submit an application and supporting documentation by the later of January 21, 2015, or 90 calendar days after the disaster event or date when the loss is apparent to the producer. During the 2015 calendar and subsequent years must submit an application and supporting documentation to FSA within 90 calendar days of the disaster evnt or the date when the loss is apparent.

Authorization

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (The Farm Bill), Title I, Part III, Section 1501, Public Law 113-79.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.

Appeals

Appeal regulations are set forth in parts 11 and 780 of 7CFR apply to determinations made under TAP.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

There are no restrictions placed on the time permitted to spend the money awarded. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Not Applicable.

Audits

Not Applicable.

Records

Applicants receiving assistance for TAP shall maintain and retain financial books and records which will permit verification of all transactions for at least three years, following the end of the calendar year in which assistance was provided and allow authorized representatives of the USDA and the Government Accountability Office to inspect all financial books, records, and all applicable livestock and acreage.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-4336-0-3-351.

Obigations

(Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 13 $0; FY 14 est $10,400,000; and FY 15 est $23,175,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program is announced through press releases, news media, and newsletters.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Steve Peterson, USDA, Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs, Production, Emergencies, and Compliance Division, Disaster Assistance Branch, 14th and Independence Ave SW, Stop 0517, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Email: Steve.Peterson@wdc.usda.gov Phone: (202) 720-5172 Fax: (202) 720-0051.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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