Is Your Farm Eligible for WHIP+ Assistance?
If your operation experienced crop losses during the 2018 or 2019 crop year due to severe weather, you may be eligible for federal disaster assistance through Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+).
The USDA Farm Service Agency launched the program last fall to address yield losses sustained by farmers in counties experiencing either a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or a Secretarial Disaster Designation during 2018 or 2019.
The federal agency expanded WHIP+ in February of this year to offset losses in counties suffering from excessive moisture or drought (D3 or higher) and began accepting applications for coverage for these factors on March 23, 2020.
Farmers demonstrating qualifying losses in 2018 and 2019 can potentially receive up to $250,000 per crop year if more than 75 percent of their adjusted gross income is derived from farming activity.
And even if farming accounts for less than 75 percent of your adjusted gross income, you still may be eligible for up to $125,000 through WHIP+.
Here’s how WHIP+ works
The USDA program is quite broad and can help you recover some of the weather-related losses you may have sustained in 2018 or 2019.
Eligibility and required documentation
The program covers losses specific to crops for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage are available. New WHIP+ provisions also account for losses of milk and stored commodities due to qualifying weather events.
You must be able to demonstrate valid ownership share and risk in the crop as well as control of the crop acreage on which the commodity was grown at the time of the disaster. Contract farmers need to provide a copy of the contract or agreement.
If your operation is not on the USDA’s list of impacted counties, you still may be eligible for WHIP+ but will need to submit documentation accounting for losses resulting from a qualifying disaster or weather-related event.
It is not mandatory to have crop insurance in order to apply. If you receive payment through WHIP+, however, you will be required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for the next two consecutive crop years following the crop year for which your WHIP+ payment applied. Failure to do so will result in needing to repay the entire amount received.
If you’re not already insured for the 2021 crop year, there’s no need to wait. Contact an FBN℠ Crop Insurance agent today and we’ll help you identify a policy and coverage level to fit your operation.
WHIP+ payment factors
WHIP+ payments are based on several factors, including the expected value of the crop, the crop that was actually harvested and crop insurance coverage and payments.
In order to apply, you will need to provide the following documentation to your FSA office:
- WHIP+ application (form FSA-894) (available from FSA)
- Notice of loss on all crops, trees, bushes and vines
- Acreage report (form FSA-578)
Your FSA office should have downloaded your RMA insurance information and will be able to generate a pre-populated form with relevant data specific to your operation.
Need help applying for WHIP+?
A dedicated FBN Crop Insurance agent can walk you through the application process and help you determine if you’re eligible for WHIP+ assistance. We also offer crop hail insurance policies to help you better protect against risk of loss on your farm should hail or other natural disasters impact acres on your farm this year.