US Agricultural Department Releases New Recovery Program to Cover Natural Disaster Losses

A new program from the Department of Agriculture will help cover losses stemming from natural disasters in 2020 and 2021.

As Danny Munch, American Farm Bureau Federation Economist points out, this new ERP program is basically a revamped version of the old WHIP+ program and will provide six billion [dollars] in ad hoc disaster assistance for producers who experienced qualifying losses from severe weather events in 2020 and 2021. ERP includes losses from events like wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, freezes, derechos, and also drought under the D3 and D4 categories, as well as D2 after eight consecutive weeks. It also covers losses from related conditions that occurred concurrently to major disasters like smoke exposure during wildfires.

This is supposed to happen within the next few weeks. Producers will then have to return their completed and signed prefilled applications to their local FSA office and should expect to receive payments in June-July. Producers who did not have crop insurance or NAP coverage, did not receive an indemnity, or had an area-based policy, will not be sent a prefilled application.

Again, for those that qualify under phase one of ERP, they will be sent prefilled applications based on their existing FSA information. For those that don’t get a prefilled application, they unfortunately will have to wait for information on Phase Two of the program to be announced. Also, we have a few payment examples available on our Market Intel website for farmers to review and see how they might be able to benefit.