(ANNAPOLIS,MD), March 10, 2015 – The State Executive Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Maryland, Linda Slacum, urges producers who want to purchase coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to do so before the sales closing date of March 16, 2015.

USDA Reminds Maryland Producers of March 16 Sales Closing Date for Noninsurable Crops

(ANNAPOLIS,MD), March 10, 2015 – The State Executive Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Maryland, Linda Slacum, urges producers who want to purchase coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to do so before the sales closing date of March 16, 2015.

NAP provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields/grazing loss, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters including drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, excessive wind or hurricanes.

In order to meet eligibility requirements for NAP, crops must be noninsurable, commercially-produced agricultural commodity crops for which the catastrophic risk protection level of crop insurance is not available.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) allows producers to choose higher levels of NAP coverage. Previously, the program offered coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production. Producers can now choose higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price. It is important to note that the higher coverage is not available on grazing crops.

"NAP policies allow producers to protect their investment by purchasing coverage for noninsurable crops," said Slacum. "Natural disasters are an unavoidable part of farming and ranching and FSA programs like NAP help producers to recover when they experience a loss."

Eligible producers must file the application and pay a service fee by the March 16 deadline. Producers also pay a fixed premium for higher coverage. Beginning, limited resource and underserved farmers may request a waiver of the service fee and a 50 percent premium reduction when the application for coverage is filed.

For more information on NAP, service fees, premiums and sales closing dates, contact the local County FSA office and visit the web at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/nap.

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program was made possible by the Farm Bill and builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit http://www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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