TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Ahead of the Friday, October 30th deadline, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is urging farmers to apply for assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) for 2018 and 2019 losses.
“For generations, Florida’s farmers have worked to feed our communities, country, and the entire world, and their success has come despite challenges like hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires,” shared Commissioner Nikki Fried. “But despite being adaptive in the face of adversity, as these disasters seem to occur more frequently and with greater strength, our state’s agricultural producers need help to remain competitive — and this support from the USDA is crucial. I’m urging all of Florida’s farmers who are eligible to contact their county Farm Service Agency office today and start the application process immediately.”
Background: WHIP+ compensates agricultural producers for losses due to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, drought, excessive moisture, wildfires, and more, that occurred in calendar years 2018 and 2019. To date, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has received over 133,000 applications for WHIP+ disaster assistance and paid out nearly $1.4 billion in WHIP+ benefits. For more information or application assistance, agricultural producers can visit the farmers.gov WHIP+ webpage or contact their local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit Farmers.gov/service-center-locator.
More to come: The FSA will soon announce details for producers who experienced quality loss from 2018 and 2019 natural disaster events authorized in appropriations legislation. There will be a separate signup period for producers reporting quality loss.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Visitors are required to wear a face covering during their appointment. More information can be found at Farmers.gov/coronavirus.
–Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services