|Across Texas, we have experienced two historic winter storms, Uri and Viola, that have affected everyone. From the Piney Woods of East Texas to Big Bend Country in West Texas, from the Panhandle in the north to the Valley in the south, everyone one of us has been affected in some way.While we all continue to assess damages and plan our recovery, FSA offers disaster assistance programs available to assist our producers in times like these. Whether you are a crop producer, livestock producer, or both, you can find information on disaster assistance programs at farmers.gov/recover. |
The Disaster At A Glance brochure also includes information on programs available from FSA, in addition to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA).Along with recovering from the storm, there are still rapidly approaching deadlines to program signups.
Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs have an election and enrollment deadline of March 15, 2021. If you are eligible and have not completed this process for the 2021 crop year, it is imperative to contact your local office as soon as possible for an appointment.
Signup for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program began on Jan. 6, 2021. The deadline to apply for QLA is Friday, March 5, 2021. This new program provides assistance to producers who suffered eligible crop quality losses due to natural disasters occurring in 2018 and 2019. Assistance is available for eligible producers in counties that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation because of one or more of the qualifying disaster events or related conditions. Information on eligible counties can be found here.
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup period was extended beyond the previous deadline and remains open. The program provides annual rental payments for 10 to 15 years for land devoted to conservation purposes, as well as other types of payments. Producers wishing to submit enrollment offers are encouraged to contact local offices to complete enrollment.As a reminder, many offices across the state are not accepting visitors into the office due to coronavirus.
Please call your local Service Center before you visit. You can also check the status of your local Service Center online at farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status.
Farmers and ranchers can also contact the FSA Customer Call Center to receive one-on-one assistance from FSA employees ready to help. By calling 877-508-8364, customers can ask questions about FSA programs.
Texans are resilient and we will recover. Be assured that FSA will be here to assist every step of the way.
Sincerely,Erasmo (Eddie) Trevino
Acting State Executive Director
Farm Service Agency – Texas
Quality Loss Assistance Now Available for Eligible Producers Affected by 2018, 2019 Natural Disasters
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that signup for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program began Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Funded by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, this new program provides assistance to producers who suffered eligible crop quality losses due to natural disasters occurring in 2018 and 2019. The deadline to apply for QLA is Friday, March 5, 2021.
Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage is available, except for grazed crops and value loss crops, such as honey, maple sap, aquaculture, floriculture, mushrooms, ginseng root, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, and turfgrass sod.
Additionally, crops that were sold or fed to livestock or that are in storage may be eligible; however, crops that were destroyed before harvest are not eligible. Crop quality losses occurring after harvest, due to deterioration in storage, or that could have been mitigated, are also not eligible.
Assistance is based on a producer’s harvested affected production of an eligible crop, which must have had at least a 5% quality loss reflected through a quality discount; or for forage crops, a nutrient loss, such as total digestible nutrients.
Qualifying Disaster Events
Losses must have been a result of a qualifying disaster event (hurricane, excessive moisture, flood, qualifying drought, tornado, typhoon, volcanic activity, snowstorm, or wildfire) or related condition that occurred in calendar years 2018 and/or 2019.
Assistance is available for eligible producers in counties that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation because of one or more of the qualifying disaster events or related conditions.
Lists of counties with Presidential Emergency Disaster Declarations and Secretarial Disaster Designations for all qualifying disaster events for 2018 and 2019 are available here. For drought, producers are eligible for QLA if the loss occurred in an area within a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a D3 (extreme drought) or higher intensity level during 2018 or 2019.
Producers in counties that did not receive a qualifying declaration or designation may still apply but must also provide supporting documentation to establish that the crop was directly affected by a qualifying disaster event.
To determine QLA eligibility and payments, FSA considers the total quality loss caused by all qualifying natural disasters in cases where a crop was impacted by multiple events.
Applying for QLA
When applying, producers are asked to provide verifiable documentation to support claims of quality loss or nutrient loss in the case of forage crops. For crops that have been sold, grading must have been completed within 30 days of harvest, and for forage crops, a laboratory analysis must have been completed within 30 days of harvest.
Some acceptable forms of documentation include sales receipts from buyers, settlement sheets, truck or warehouse scale tickets, written sales contracts, similar records that represent actual and specific quality loss information, and forage tests for nutritional values.
Payments Calculations and Limitations
QLA payments are based on formulas for the type of crop (forage or non-forage) and loss documentation submitted. Based on this documentation FSA is calculating payments based on the producer’s own individual loss or based on the county average loss. More information on payments can be found on farmers.gov/quality-loss.
FSA will issue payments once the application period ends. If the total amount of calculated QLA payments exceeds available program funding, payments will be prorated.
For each crop year, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the maximum amount that a person or legal entity may receive, directly or indirectly, is $125,000. Payments made to a joint operation (including a general partnership or joint venture) will not exceed $125,000, multiplied by the number of persons and legal entities that comprise the ownership of the joint operation. A person or legal entity is ineligible for QLA payment if the person’s or legal entity’s average Adjusted Gross Income exceeds $900,000, unless at least 75% is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities.
Future Insurance Coverage Requirements
All producers receiving QLA Program payments are required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for the next two available crop years at the 60% coverage level or higher. Wildlife and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) participants who already met the WHIP+ requirement to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage are considered to have thereby met the requirement to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for QLA. If eligible, QLA participants may meet the insurance purchase requirement by purchasing Whole-Farm Revenue Protection coverage offered through USDA’s Risk Management Agency.
More Information For more information, visit farmers.gov/quality-loss, or contact your local USDA Service Center. Producers can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364.
March 15 is Deadline to Make Elections and Complete Enrollment in 2021 Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs
Agricultural producers can now make elections and enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year.
Enrollment for the 2021 crop year closes March 15, 2021.
ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price.
Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.
2021 Elections and Enrollment
Producers can elect coverage and enroll in crop-by-crop ARC-County or PLC, or ARC-Individual for the entire farm, for the 2021 crop year. Although election changes for 2021 are optional, enrollment (signed contract) is required for each year of the program. If a producer has a multi-year contract on the farm and makes an election change for 2021, it will be necessary to sign a new contract.
If an election is not submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2021, the election defaults to the current election for crops on the farm from the prior crop year.
For crop years 2022 and 2023, producers will have an opportunity to make new elections during those signups. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the farm.
Web-Based Decision Tools
In partnership with USDA, the University of Illinois and Texas A&M University offer web-based decision tools to assist producers in making informed, educated decisions using crop data specific to their respective farming operations. Tools include:
- Gardner-farmdoc Payment Calculator, the University of Illinois tool that offers farmers the ability to run payment estimate modeling for their farms and counties for ARC-County and PLC.
- ARC and PLC Decision Tool, the Texas A&M tool allows producers to analyze payment yield updates and expected payments for 2021. Producers who have used the tool in the past should see their username and much of their farm data already available in the system.
For more information on ARC and PLC, including two online decision tools that assist producers in making enrollment and election decisions specific to their operations, visit the ARC and PLC webpage.
For additional questions and assistance, contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.