Producers impacted by wildfires and hurricanes in 2017 are eligible for monetary assistance to rebuild and recover on their farms through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA).
A program known as 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) opened for signup on July 16, 2018, after being officially announced by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The program signup ends on November 16, 2018.
“Hurricanes and wildfires caused billions of dollars in losses to America’s farmers last year. Our objective is to get relief funds into the hands of eligible producers as quickly as possible,” says Perdue. “We are making immediate, initial payments of up to 50 percent of the calculated assistance so producers can pay their bills.”
If funds are available additional payments will be made later in the year.
Congress approved the program with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
Producers who suffered losses located in a county declared in a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation as a primary county are eligible for assistance if the producer suffered a loss as a result of a 2017 hurricane. Eligibility for those producers not located in a primary is dependent on documentation that shows a loss from a hurricane or wildfire in 2017. A list of the eligible counties with hurricane declarations is available online.
For more information on FSA disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA service center or visit www.farmers.gov/recover/whip.