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Farm Service Agency News

Sat, Mar 28th, 2009
Posted in Government

Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment Program (SURE)

We still do not have procedure for this program. However, we do get questions on it so I will talk about what details we do know at this time. The 2008 Farm Bill created a trust fund which will fund five disaster programs; they are: 1)Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment Program (SURE) 2) Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) 3) Tree Assistance Program (TAP) 4) Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) and 5) Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). I am going to discuss the SURE program in this news article.

The SURE program is designed to supplement the protection producers can purchase from private crop insurance companies. In fact, a producer must purchase insurance for all major crops produced each year to be eligible for the SURE disaster program, starting in 2008.

SURE is a revenue guarantee program, similar to crop revenue insurance. If the farm's actual crop revenue is less than the guarantee, the SURE payment makes up 60 percent of the difference. The actual crop revenue includes not only the estimated value of the crop produced, but also other USDA payments and crop insurance indemnity payments received as well. This prevents farmers from receiving double payments for the same losses. All guarantees and actual revenues under SURE are calculated as the sum for all crops and in all counties involved in the "farming operation", even if land in more than one county or state is involved. Payments are not made for losses to individual crops or insurance units.

There are two eligibility criteria for SURE payments. First, farmers who have land in a county that has been declared a "secretarial designated" disaster county, or land in a county that is contiguous to a disaster county, may be eligible to receive a SURE payment. Second, farming operations not in eligible counties could also qualify if they individually have more than a 50 percent loss in the value of their crop production due to weather related causes. Additionally, at least one crop on the farm must suffer a yield loss of ten percent or more for the farm to receive a payment.

Insure all crops

To be eligible for SURE payments a producer must insure all of his/her eligible crops. Approximately 90% of the corn and soybeans in Minnesota are covered by crop insurance each year. However, only a small percent of other crops such as oats, wheat and hay are typically insured.

Grazing land (pasture) does NOT have to be insured. Other exceptions (de minimis) include any crop that makes up less than 5 percent of the value of all crops grown on the farm, and crops for which the Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP) premium is more than 10 percent of the value ($9090.90) of the insurance coverage offered.

2008 Buy-In now available

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was enacted on February 17, 2009. Producers now have the ability to buy-in eligibility for the 2008 crop year. Producers who did not get the required insurance now can pay buy-in fees until May 18, 2009. Buy-in fees are $100 per crop not to exceed $300 per county. The one requirement is that producers must agree to obtain a policy or plan of insurance for each insurable commodity on the farm that is covered by the buy-in fees for the next available insurance year for which a policy is available (2010). The ACT also requires these producers to purchase coverage at or above 70/100.

For Fillmore County producers you will want to check into this as we were contiguous to a county that was declared a Secretarial Disaster county for 2008. Therefore, you will not need to sustain a 50 percent loss to qualify for payments.

For more information, please contact your Farm Service Agency.

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