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Congress passes Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program

WASHINGTON--Congress recently passed an extension of the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program-Plus, also known as WHIP+, in the recent Joint Resolution to fund the government.

Scott Bennett, of the American Farm Bureau, says WHIP is a safety net for farmers hit by natural disasters and will offer a lifeline needed by farmers to keep farming:

“Congress was able to pass, in the Continuing Resolution for government funding through December 3, an extension of the WHIP+ program to include 2020 and 2021 crop years, with funding to the tune of 10 billion dollars. This money will be available for producers that had qualifying natural disasters destroy a portion or all of their crop,” said Bennett.

The USDA says a variety of natural disasters are covered by the program.

“Any producer that suffered damage from a qualifying disaster in 2020 and 2021, such as wildfires, hurricanes, Derechos, drought, or more may qualify for payment to recoup the lost value of those crops. Please contact your local FSA office for more information on your qualification for this relief and how to apply if you do,” said Bennett.

The USDA adds that there are other USDA programs available to help producers offset costs associated with COVID-19 safety measures.

“The Pandemic Response and Safety Grant program assists small businesses in certain commodity areas, including specialty crop producers, meat, and other processors and distributors, with the costs of preventing further spread of COVID-19, such as providing PPE, facilitating social distancing, and retrofitting facilities. This grant funding is intended to offset the costs of these COVID mitigation activities.

Those interested in applying can find more information at