Deadline nearing to enroll for NAP specialty crop insurance
January 8, 2015
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Fruit, vegetable and other specialty crop producers have until Jan. 14 to apply for enhanced coverage for the 2015 crop year through the federal Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, commonly known as NAP.
Bruce Bordelon, professor of horticulture at Purdue University, said coverage limits and payment amounts were raised in the 2014 farm bill.
"These new options for noninsured crop assistance should be very helpful to fruit growers," Bordelon said. "The buy-up options make these products much more attractive as a risk management tool."
Previously, coverage was capped at the catastrophic level of protection, meaning farmers were covered for only 50 percent of their expected yield. Under the buy-up provisions included in the new farm bill, farmers can choose to purchase coverage for up to 65 percent of their expected yield.
In addition, farmers who sustain a loss to crops with buy-up coverage will now be paid 100 percent of the NAP price established by the Farm Service Agency, compared with 55 percent under the old version of the NAP.
The expanded coverage option for specialty crops is part of the new farm bill's emphasis on income insurance in place of the direct subsidy payments of previous years, said Jacob Maxwell, program specialist with the state Farm Service Agency office.
"Producers choosing buy-up coverage through the NAP must pay a service fee and premiums," he said. "Premiums are determined by a number of factors, such as acres planted and approved yield, but total crop-year premiums have a limit."
Typically, annual premiums will not exceed $6562.50 per person, he said.
Beginning farmers, low-income farmers and members of some traditionally underserved groups are eligible for waived service fees and a 50 percent reduction in premiums, Maxwell said.
NAP buy-up coverage for 2015 is available to any producer of an eligible crop, regardless of existing catastrophic coverage. An application for coverage and payment of service fees are required by Jan. 14 for fall-planted crops such as apples, blueberries and other perennials. The March 15 application deadline for spring-planted crops such as sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelons, peppers and pumpkins, is unchanged.
To help producers decide which level of coverage is best for them, an online NAP calculator is available at www.fsa.usda.gov/NAP
Producers looking for more information about NAP and how to enroll for coverage should contact their county Farm Service Agency office. A list of Indiana FSA offices is available at www.fsa.usda.gov/in
Writer: Darrin Pack, 765-494-8415, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Bruce Bordelon, 765-494-8212, email@example.com