Hobby Stripling, State Executive Director of Georgia’s USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers of the need for insurance coverage for crops in order to be eligible for the agency's disaster assistance programs. Producers must purchase at least catastrophic (CAT) level of insurance for all insurable crops and/or FSA's Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for noninsurable crops to be eligible.

"Crop insurance is an important risk management tool for farmers, but it's not available for all crops. That's why NAP is so important," said Stripling.

NAP is a federally funded program that provides coverage to producers for noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occurs due to natural disasters.

Crops eligible for NAP coverage are those for which crop insurance is not available, including fruits and vegetables, aquaculture, pecans, turf grass and forage crops just to name a few. Crops that FCIC deems as ineligible due to practice or yield are not covered by NAP.

"Producers must apply for coverage before a disaster strikes," said Stripling. "Like regular crop insurance, once an application period closes, the opportunity to obtain coverage is gone."

NAP applications for coverage must be filed using Form CCC-471 and pay service fees by the application closing date. Application closing dates vary by crop and Stripling reminds producers to contact their local FSA Office for specific crop application sales closing dates. Following is a brief summary of Georgia’s NAP application closing dates:

• by 8/15/2011:

• Forage Crops with an intended use of Forage, Grazing or Seed. Pay Crop 102 includes all grasses, alfalfa, clover, lespedeza, mixed forage and vetch

• all Value Loss Crops.

• all crops without a final planting date such as grapes and cranberries

• carrots

• by 8/31/2011 for onions as set by FCIC

• by 9/30/2011 for barley, canola, oats, wheat as set by FCIC

• by 11/20/2011 for apples, blueberries, and peaches as set by FCIC.

• by 12/1/2011 for honey

• 1/31/2012 for annually planted spring and fall crops.

Please note that crops such as greens can be planted before 1/31/12 and will be considered to be a 2012 crop if the crop is to be harvested in crop year 2012. Coverage on these crops will begin

the later of the following:

. 30 days after the CCC-471 is filed

. the day the crop is planted.

Also note that if FCIC establishes or changes an application closing date for a certain type of crop, then the application closing date for NAP must agree with that date.

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