USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) 2005 Hurricanes Nursery Program (NP) provides financial assistance to qualifying commercial ornamental nursery and fernery producers who suffered inventory losses and incurred clean-up costs that resulted from hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia, Rita or Wilma of 2005. Producers in certain counties of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas may be eligible for the program.
The Emergency Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2006, Public Law 109-234 (the Act), enacted June 2006, authorizes NP. Under the Act, USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will provide up to $95 million in benefits to producers through the NP, Citrus, Tropical Fruit, and Fruit and Vegetable programs created by the Act. FSA administers NP on behalf of CCC.
Eligible NP counties are those declared natural disaster areas by President Bush or designated a primary disaster or emergency areas by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns during the 2005 calendar year due to hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia, Rita and/or Wilma. Counties contiguous to a primary county are also eligible. Counties declared disaster areas by Hurricane Dennis are ineligible for NP because disaster losses resulting from Hurricane Dennis were not provided for in the Act. A complete list of eligible counties is found in the PDF version (463KB) of this fact sheet, CLICK HERE
Eligible commercial ornamental and fernery stock include:
- Deciduous shrubs, broadleaf evergreens, coniferous evergreens, shade and flowering trees;
- Stock used for propagation in commercial ornamental nursery operations; and
- Fruit or nut seedlings grown for sale as seed stock for commercial fruit and nut orchard operations.
Ineligible commercial ornamental and fernery inventory include:
- Plants produced for the purpose of producing a crop for which Risk Management Agency (RMA) does not provide insurance, or for which CCC coverage does not provide assistance under the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP); and
- Plants produced for reforestation purposes.
State certified commercial ornamental and fernery producers are eligible for assistance under NP.
Producers who want to receive nursery disaster benefits must submit to the local FSA Service Center:
- Completed application (Form CCC-552 Nursery);
- Acreage report identifying the geographic location and number of acres in the disaster-affected area;
- Inventory value of damage stock prior to the hurricane; and
- Inventory value of damages stock after the hurricane.
Applicants must certify and provide adequate proof that the losses and expenses incurred to eligible nursery crops were a direct result of the eligible hurricanes. Supporting documents include, but are not limited to: verifiable purchase records; bank or other loan papers; Federal Emergency Management Agency records; National Guard records; written contracts; production records; Internal Revenue Service records; property tax records; private insurance documents; sales records and similar documents.
The value of inventory is the producer's wholesale price list less the maximum customer discount the producer provides not to exceed the prices listed in RMA's "Eligible Plant List and Price Schedule."
Eligible producers who elected not to purchase crop insurance on an insurable crop, or NAP on an uninsurable crop, for which benefits are received under these programs, must purchase such coverage for the next available coverage period:
- Crop insurance at least at the catastrophic level on that crop, although producers required to purchase a citrus policy may purchase a fruit or tree policy; or
- NAP coverage if crop insurance is unavailable.
If a producer who is required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for the applicable year fails to do so, the producer must refund any disaster payment made under these programs.
Applicants are eligible for NP benefits for inventory loss and/or debris removal and clean-up.
CCC will calculate payments by multiplying the difference between the beginning and ending inventory value, times 25 percent, times the producer's share of the loss.
Nursery Program payment rates will be 5 percent less for producers who did not have crop insurance or coverage under NAP.
The payment for production loss is subject to payment limitation and adjusted gross income (AGI) provisions.
Producers can receive a maximum of $80,000 in combined benefits from the NP, Citrus, Tropical Fruit, and Fruit and Vegetable programs created by the Act. Producers cannot receive duplicate federal program payments for the same losses due to the 2005 hurricanes.
Producers are eligible for a payment of $250 per acre for debris removal and associated costs associated with the eligible hurricane, provided the applicant submits documentation that these costs were equal to or greater than $250 per acre. Payments received for clean-up are not subject to payment limitation or AGI provisions.
Producers cannot receive duplicate federal program payments for the same losses due to the 2005 hurricanes.
In the event that the total amount of eligible claims submitted by qualifying nursery producers for the NP, Fruit and Vegetable, Citrus or Tropical Fruit disaster program(s) exceeds $95 million, each payment will be reduced by a uniform national percentage, as determined by CCC.
Sign-up for NP begins Dec. 11, 2006, and ends Feb. 2, 2007. Producers must submit applications and supporting documentation to the FSA office serving the county where the eligible loss occurred.
For more information about FSA and its programs, visit your local USDA Service Center or online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of Discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.