Farmers in 19 South Carolina counties may be eligible for disaster assistance through the United States Department of Agriculture.
The USDA said it is now accepting applications for the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program. The money will be available for losses due to hurricane and related conditions, such as excessive rain and flooding. Eligible farms must be in counties that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster designation. Other crops, trees, bushes or vines outside of these identified counties may be eligible if the producer provides documentation the loss was caused by a 2017 hurricane.
Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply. But all farmers receiving 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase risk management coverage, either crop insurance at the 60 percent coverage level or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage if crop insurance is not available. The program requires producers to have coverage for the next two crop years.
To apply, farmers must be able to provide “how many acres they farm, where those acres are at, a production history and then the losses that were suffered,” USDA Undersecretary for Farm and Production and Conservation Bill Northey said.
“There’ll be an initial payment of what’s expected to be 50 percent of the coverage of the loss for that WHIP program,” he said. Depending on the number of applications, there could be a second payment if there’s any money left over in the program.
Applications are due by November 16.