An AFBF analysis of the recent extension of disaster assistance and associated coverage for additional weather-related conditions revealed welcome news for farmers recovering from 2020 and 2021 disasters.
President Joe Biden recently signed into law H.R. 5305, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, commonly known as the continuing resolution (CR). The CR retroactively extended disaster assistance programs through 2020 and 2021 and appropriates $10 billion to the office of the Secretary of Agriculture for these programs, including the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), the On-Farm Storage Loss Program, Milk Loss Program and Tree Assistance Program.
Per the AFBF analysis, the $10 billion surpasses uncovered crop loss estimates, though final 2021 impacts remain unassessed.
WHIP+ provides financial assistance for crop losses related to natural disasters. The CR reiterated that previously covered conditions such as excessive heat and excessive moisture, hurricanes and wildfires would continue to qualify for assistance. It also explicitly includes derechos, winter storms, polar vortexes, freeze, smoke exposure and quality losses for crops as covered causes.
The CR retains existing payment limitations from WHIP+ that restricted producers to $125,000 for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 crop years if their average adjusted gross farm income (AGI) was less than 75% of their adjusted gross income for 2015, 2016 and 2017. If 75% of a producer’s AGI was received from ranching, farming or forestry, up to $250,000 could be received in WHIP+ payments, with a total combined payment limitation of $500,000.
For more information and details, read the AFBF analysis.