INDIANAPOLIS -- USDA's Farm Service Agency in Indiana Executive Director Julia Wickard recently reminded producers that USDA has implemented the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program in accordance with the 2008 Farm Bill.
FSA county offices began accepting producer application for benefits on Jan. 4, for crop production losses suffered during the 2008 crop year.
"No signup deadline has been set for 2008 crop losses because FSA is waiting for automated computer software to be released," Wickard said. "Until the software is issued, FSA will accept applications and process producer payments manually so producers do not experience a delay in program benefits.
"As the 2008 crop is only a memory for some producers, we want to remind all Hoosier farmers that all Indiana counties were eligible for potential assistance. I encourage producers to call their local office and make an appointment to learn about the new program."
SURE provides crop disaster assistance payments to eligible producers on farms that have incurred crop production or crop quality losses. The program takes into consideration crop losses on all crops grown by a producer nationwide.
SURE provides assistance in an amount equal to 60 percent 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 (NAP) 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.
To be eligible for SURE, producers must have suffered at least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance.
In addition, producers must meet the risk management purchase requirement by either obtaining 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, 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.
For more information on the SURE program, visit the local FSA county office or log on to www.fsa.usda.gov.