FAQ: I heard recently that the sign-up for 2009 USDA Supplemental Revenue or SURE assistance payments has begun at Farm Service Agency offices. I farm in north central Iowa and suffered a crop yield loss on corn and soybeans from hail in 2009. Am I eligible for a SURE payment? What do I have to do to apply?
Answer: Provided by Beth Grabau, public relations and outreach specialist for USDA Farm Service Agency's state office in Des Moines. Kevin McClure, FSA program specialist at the state office, helped prepare the following answers.
Any eligible producer who suffered losses during the 2009 crop year is encouraged to visit their local USDA Farm Service Agency office to learn more about the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program or SURE, and how to apply. The staff at the FSA office can determine if you are eligible. The SURE program provides eligible farmers financial assistance if they have suffered from natural disasters. This is in addition to any crop insurance payment they may have received.
Question: The SURE sign-up period for 2009 crop losses is open. Should I sign up for 2009 SURE payment now?
Sign up for the 2009 SURE program began on January 10, 2011 and runs through July 29, 2011. Only certain counties in Iowa are eligible under the Secretarial Disaster Designation or the contiguous counties that join them.
In Iowa, eligible counties for a 2009 SURE payment are: Allamakee, Appanoose, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Crawford, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Des Moines, Dickinson, Dubuque, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mitchell, Monona, Monroe, Muscatine, O'Brien, Osceola, Page, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Sac, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Winneshiek, Wright, and Woodbury.
Producers who do not have land in these counties may still be eligible for a SURE payment. These producers may still be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50% of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster.
Question: Are SURE guarantees for 2009 the same as they were for 2008?
The farmers who qualified for SURE in 2008 and are eligible to apply for 2009 may find their payments are dramatically different. This is because the guarantees established for 2009 are lower than 2008 guarantees. It will take a greater production loss level for payments to kick in.
SURE provides assistance 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.
Question: How much of a production loss do I need to have had on my farm to be eligible for a SURE payment?
Here are some general guidelines. But again, be sure you check with your county FSA office for answers to your specific questions and for your farm's situation.
- You need to have had at least a 10% production loss on a crop of economic significance in 2009.
- You need to have had insurance and/or NAP on all economically significant crops in 2009.
- You need to have been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster country or contiguous county by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under a Secretarial Designation. Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50% of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster.
If you suffered a production loss in 2009, please visit your local FSA office to learn what you need to do to apply for a SURE payment. This program, along with others administered through FSA help provide stability for farmers during periods of production loss due to natural disasters.
Producers considered socially disadvantage, a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without having an insurance policy. For more information on the SURE program or other disaster assistance programs, contact your local county FSA office or FSA's website at www.fsa.usda.gov.
If you have specific questions or need details regarding USDA farm programs, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. You can also get news and information about DCP, ACRE and other USDA programs at www.fsa.usda.gov.
Two Iowa State University Extension Web sites have farm program information and analysis. They are ISU's Ag Decision Maker site at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension Specialist Steve Johnson's site at www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm. And be sure to read the regular column "Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Program" that appears in each issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine and at www.WallacesFarmer.com
Two Iowa State University Extension Web sites have farm program information and analysis. They are ISU's Ag Decision Maker site at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension Specialist Steve Johnson's site at www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm.
And be sure to read the regular column "Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Program" that appears in each issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine and at www.WallacesFarmer.com