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Disaster assistance sign-up for 2011 crop losses

Published: Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 4:48 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive director for USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Illinois, has announced producers can enroll in the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program for 2011 crop year losses beginning Monday. Under the 2008 Farm Bill, SURE authorizes assistance to farmers and ranchers who suffered crop losses caused by natural disasters occurring through Sept. 30, 2011.

“Eligible producers who experienced a 2011 crop loss can contact their local county FSA office to learn more about the SURE program,” said Giamanco. “All eligible farmers and ranchers must sign up for 2011 SURE benefits before the June 7, 2013, deadline.”

To qualify for a SURE payment, the producer’s operation must be located in a county that was declared a disaster for 2011 and have at least a 10 percent production loss that affects one crop of economic significance. Producers with agricultural operations located outside a disaster county are eligible for SURE benefits if they had a production loss greater or equal to 50 percent of the normal production on the farm.

In Illinois, 66 counties received a primary Secretarial Disaster Designation, and 27 counties received a contiguous Secretarial Disaster Designation during 2011. This means producers in 93 Illinois counties can qualify for SURE benefits as long as they have at least a 10 percent production loss that affects one crop of economic significance and all other eligibility requirements are met. Producers in the remaining nine Illinois counties are eligible for SURE benefits if they had a production loss greater or equal to 50 percent of the normal production on the farm.

To meet program eligibility requirements, producers must have obtained a policy or plan of insurance for all insurable crops through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and obtained Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage on non-insurable crops, if available, from FSA. Eligible farmers and ranchers who meet the definition of a socially disadvantaged, limited resource or beginning farmer or rancher do not have to meet this requirement. Forage crops intended for grazing are not eligible for SURE benefits.

For more information on SURE program eligibility requirements contact your local County FSA office or visit the website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/sure/.

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