MADISON, Wis., May 6, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started accepting applications and making payments through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) to agricultural producers who suffered eligible losses because of excessive moisture or drought in 2018 and 2019. Signup for these causes of loss opened March 23, and producers who suffered losses in Wisconsin from excessive moisture, floods, tornadoes, snowstorms, wildfires or drought can still apply for assistance through WHIP+.

Wisconsin Producers Reminded of Ongoing Disaster Assistance Program Signup

MADISON, Wis., May 6, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started accepting applications and making payments through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) to agricultural producers who suffered eligible losses because of excessive moisture or drought in 2018 and 2019. Signup for these causes of loss opened March 23, and producers who suffered losses in Wisconsin from excessive moisture, floods, tornadoes, snowstorms, wildfires or drought can still apply for assistance through WHIP+.

“Many counties in Wisconsin suffered crop production losses due to record precipitation amounts in the last two years.” said Sandy Chalmers, State Executive Director of Wisconsin’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “We want to remind producers that staff in local service centers are available by phone or email to assist in applying for WHIP+.  We highly encourage producers to call or email our offices to discuss program requirements and the next steps of the application process.”

To be eligible for WHIP+, producers must have suffered certain crop production losses or losses to trees, bushes or vines in counties with a primary Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or a primary Secretarial Disaster Designation for qualifying natural disaster events that occurred in calendar years 2018 or 2019. Producers located in a county without a primary Presidential or Secretarial Disaster Designation may be eligible if documentation is provided showing the loss was due to a qualifying natural disaster event (producers receiving WHIP+ payments for 2018 and/or 2019 will be required to obtain crop insurance or NAP in 2022 and 2023 at the 60/100 level or higher).

For losses due to drought, a producer is eligible if any area of the county in which the loss occurred was rated D3, or extreme drought, or higher on the U.S. Drought Monitor during calendar years 2018 or 2019. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, no counties in Wisconsin met this requirement in 2018 or 2019. 

In addition to the recently added eligible losses of drought and excess moisture, FSA will implement a WHIP+ provision for crop quality loss that resulted in price deductions or penalties when marketing crops damaged by eligible disaster events. To ensure an effective program for all impacted farmers, the Agency is currently gathering information on the extent of quality loss from producers and stakeholder organizations.

USDA Service Centers, including FSA county offices, are open for business by phone only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information on Service Centers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus, and more information on WHIP+ can be found at www.farmers.gov/whip-plus.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.