Got farming insurance?

LIHU‘E — If you’re a farmer who has been keeping accurate production records and are projecting a substantial loss, the U.S. Department of Agriculture may be able to help you.

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program is designed to reduce financial losses due to natural disasters, or when those disasters “prevented planting of an eligible crop by providing coverage equivalent to catastrophic insurance,” a USDA press release said.

“It’s not a profit-making program. It’s a safety net for production loss,” said Robert Ishikawa, executive director of the Kaua‘i USDA office.

Any loss over 50 percent is covered by the NAP, Ishikawa said. A state-established price for varied crops is used to calculate the losses, and how much farmers can receive.

Ishikawa said it’s a complicated program, but if farmers keep accurate records it makes it much easier for them to enroll. “The ones who don’t will have a hard time,” he said.

The program may not be for everyone, but it does pay off for those who are eligible. The service fee ranges from $250 to $750. Producers with single crops pay $250, with two crops $500, and those with three or more crops $750.

Qualifying crops include fruits, vegetables and forage.

The deadline to apply for the program is Dec. 1. 

The program does include floriculture, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, turf grass sod, seed crops and aquaculture, but the deadline to apply for those crops for crop year 2011 expired Sept. 1.

Ishikawa said the application must be within 30 days before the crop coverage starts.

For more information call Ishikawa at 245-9014 ext. 104, or go to the USDA Farm Service Agency, 4334 Rice St., suite 103, Lihu‘e.


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