Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Important changes to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) made by the Agriculture Act of 2014 for the 2015 crop year took effect the first of the year.
Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) reminds growers of perhaps the most significant change – the Buy-Up Coverage Option. NAP coverage is now available at 50, 55, 60 and 65 percent of a farmer’s approved yield and 100 percent of the average market price instead of only the basic coverage of 50 percent of the yield and 55 percent of the average market price, said Dr. English.
Of importance to certain growers are NAP fee waivers and premium reductions. Basic NAP coverage is now free to all farmers who qualify as beginning, limited resource or socially disadvantaged. Socially disadvantaged now includes women, said Dr. English.
Previously, only limited resource farmers were eligible for fee waivers or premium reductions. Farmers in these categories are also eligible for a 50 percent reduction in NAP Buy-Up Coverage premiums. To be eligible, farmers must certify their status when applying for coverage at their Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
NAP service fees will continue to be $250 per crop per county, up to $750 per farm per county or $1,875 per farmer. However, farmers who choose the Buy-Up Coverage must pay an additional premium of 5.25 percent of the maximum NAP coverage for the crop. To get an idea of premiums, growers can use the NAP Crop Tool at http://fsa.usapas.com/NAP.aspx. For help in using the tool, growers can contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or in certain areas, their local UAPB Extension associate.
Associates are Alex Cole (870) 630-2005, firstname.lastname@example.org – St. Francis, Crittenden, Cross, Woodruff, Jackson and Mississippi counties; Arlanda Jacobs, (870) 714-5531, email@example.com – Lee, Phillips, Monroe and Arkansas counties; Travis Collins, (870) 355-7007, firstname.lastname@example.org – Chicot, Desha and Drew counties; Kandi Williams, (870) 903-8663, email@example.com – Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Sevier and Miller counties; and Stephan Walker, multi-county agent, (870) 575-7237, firstname.lastname@example.org – Jefferson, Lincoln, Desha, Pulaski and Lonoke counties.
Growers of hand-harvested crops must report losses within 72 hours of harvest if harvest is complete or when damage is first apparent and file a written notice within 15 calendar days. This is to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct an accurate inspection of crops that may deteriorate rapidly, said Dr. English.
Producers should not destroy the crop until a loss adjuster inspects the loss. If the crop is plowed under, the grower will not be eligible for compensation, said Dr. English.
Other changes include an increase in the maximum NAP payment to $125,000 up from $100,000, and the change in the farmer adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility to a simple $900,000 for each person or entity.
For more information or to report any losses, contact your local FSA office.
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