Categorized | Agriculture

USDA implements new disaster assistance program

MEDIA RELEASE

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) has announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has implemented the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program (SURE).

Producers are encouraged to visit their USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office beginning Jan. 4, 2010, to participate in the program if they suffered crop production losses during the 2008 crop year.

SURE provides crop disaster assistance payments to eligible producers on farms that have incurred crop production losses. The program takes into consideration crop losses on all crops grown by a producer.

To be eligible for SURE, producers must have suffered at least a 10 percent production loss for the entire crop year on a crop of economic significance (crop representing 5 percent or more of farm operation production revenue). In addition, producers must purchase either a policy or plan of insurance, under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or NAP coverage, for all economically significant crops.

For 2008 crops, producers had the opportunity to obtain a waiver of the risk management purchase requirement through a buy-in provision. Producers considered socially disadvantaged (minority, female, handicapped), a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without a policy or plan of insurance or NAP coverage.

In addition to meeting the risk management purchase requirement, a producer must have a farming interest physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the Agriculture Secretary under a Secretarial Disaster Designation.

Regardless of a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may also be eligible for SURE if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster.

For more information on the new SURE program, visit a local FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov

* Hawaii County FSA Office

Phone: (808) 933-8381

Fax: (808) 933-8345

* Honolulu County FSA Office

Phone:  (808) 483-8600

Fax:  (808) 483-8615

* Kauai County FSA Office

Phone:  (808) 245-9014

Fax: (808) 246-4639

* Maui County FSA Office

Phone: (808) 871-5500

Fax: (808) 873-6183

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