The New Emergency Relief Program announced this week by the Department of Agriculture will help cover the billions of dollars in losses from natural disasters in recent years. American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Danny Munch explains the program.
“This new ERP program is basically a revamped version of the old WHIP+ program and will provide six billion [dollars] in ad hoc disaster assistance for producers who experienced qualifying losses from severe weather events in 2020 and 2021. ERP includes losses from events like wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, freezes, derechos, and also drought under the D3 and D4 categories, as well as D2 after eight consecutive weeks. It also covers losses from related conditions that occurred concurrently to major disasters like smoke exposure during wildfires.”
Munch says under Phase One of the program, USDA will be sending prefilled applications to eligible producers.
“This is supposed to happen within the next few weeks. Producers will then have to return their completed and signed prefilled applications to their local FSA office and should expect to receive payments in June-July. Producers who did not have crop insurance or NAP coverage, did not receive an indemnity, or had an area-based policy, will not be sent a prefilled application.”
If you don’t receive a prefilled application, you’ll have to wait for Phase Two of the program.
“Again, for those that qualify under phase one of ERP, they will be sent prefilled applications based on their existing FSA information. For those that don’t get a prefilled application, they unfortunately will have to wait for information on Phase Two of the program to be announced. Also, we have a few payment examples available on our Market Intel website for farmers to review and see how they might be able to benefit.”
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