USDA announces SURE sign-up for 2011 crop disaster losses

By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2012- As drought-stricken farmers across the U.S. struggle to deal with their 2012 losses, USDA's Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia announced today that the sign-up period for 2011 crop year losses will soon be open.

Signup for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program will open Oct. 22, 2012. The SURE program is part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill). Under the 2008 Farm Bill, SURE authorizes assistance to farmers and ranchers who suffered crop losses caused by natural disasters occurring through Sept. 30, 2011

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 “Any eligible producer who suffered losses during the 2011 crop year is encouraged to visit a local FSA office to learn more about the SURE program and how to apply,” said Garcia.

When lawmakers wrote the 2008 Farm Bill, they discontinued mandatory funding for SURE and 36 other programs in order to make the funding baseline work within the available funds.The SURE program was originally authorized for Fiscal years 2008-2011.

As of Sept. 30, 2011, the Department's authority to operate the SURE program expired along with four other disaster assistance programs: the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).

In August, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a stand-alone disaster program that would have continued the livestock and tree disaster assistance programs, but not SURE. The Senate refused to consider the stand-alone package, preferring to vote on the 2012 farm bill which contains similar livestock disaster provisions.  

To be eligible for SURE, a farm or ranch must have:

·         At least a 10-percent production loss on a crop of economic significance;

·         A policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for all economically significant crops;

·         Been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the Secretary of Agriculture under a Secretarial Disaster Designation. Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster. A “farm” for SURE purposes means the entirety of all crop acreage in all counties that a producer planted or intended to be planted for harvest for normal commercial sale or on-farm livestock feeding, including native and improved grassland intended for haying


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. 

The signup deadline ends June 7, 2013.

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