Our Noninsured Crop Disaster Attorneys can assist you in getting some relief in the event that your claim for benefits was denied. The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) was created to give financial assistance to farmers and providers who raise non-insurable crops. When natural disasters happen and the results are lower yields or crop losses, or the planting of crops is inhibited, it is possible that you are eligible for financial assistance. The program was established to cover farmers any time they experience crop losses that have the potential to interrupt the operation of their farms.
Our specialists attorneys in Agriculture and Crop matters represent farmers, sharecroppers and producers who need to file for coverage, file claims for crop loss, and appeal claim denials. The NAP appeals attorneys on our team will collaborate with your farm or production facility to give you thorough and meticulous legal representation. We have a long and impresive track record of working with and also against the USDA to keep our clients’ business and livelihood in tact. Bring us onto your team and allow our experience and expertise strengthen your NAP claims today.
What Crops Are Covered by the NAP?
There are some crops that are not covered by the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, and indeed some entities. For those that are, the financial relief that is available to producers can be paid out to landowners, tenants or sharecroppers who partake in the risk of bringing up an “eligible crop.” What qualifies as eligible crops are crops that are commercially produced agricultural commodities but don’t qualify for standard crop insurance. Crops that are eligible for the non-insured crop disaster assistance program (NAP) meet any of the criteria below:
In this category is a variety of food items, including grains, fruits and vegetables that are grown for consumption by humans and are not insurable.
Crops for Livestock
This group is comprised of grain and forage crops, including native forage, which are grown and processed for animal consumption. These crops must also not be insurable.
This category is for crops like flax and cotton. It excludes trees.
These are crops that are grown in a controlled environment, such as floriculture and mushrooms, and do not qualify for normal crop insurance.
This category is for crops such as honey and maple sap. If they can be covered by crop insurance, they are not eligible.
Crops that are produced for manufacturing or raised as feedstock for biobased products, renewable biofuel and renewable electricity.
Sea Plant Crops
This category includes crops that grow in water, like sea oats and sea grass. These crops must not be insurable.
Value Loss Crops
This category includes items like aquaculture, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, ginseng and turf-grass sod.
Claims for Non-insured Crops: What Qualifies as a Natural Disaster
A natural disaster that is the reason for a claim because it created the conditions for loss of agricultural crops must have occurred during the coverage period, before or during harvest, and must directly affect the qualifying crop. The coverage period can differ in relation to the crop in question. The Eligible Natural Disasters as defined by the NAP include:
Adverse Natural Occurrences
This category includes such occurrences as floods, earthquakes, and in some cases, fires.
This can mean frost and freezes, droughts, hail, excessive moisture, hurricanes or excessive wind.
Adverse Climate Conditions
This is defined as conditions that are related to damaging weather or adverse natural occurrences, such as excessive heat, insect infestation, plant disease or volcanic smog (VOG).
Noninsured Crop Coverage Period
Coverage Period for Annual Crops
Generally speaking, the coverage period for an annual crop begins at the latest date in which any of these events occur:
30 days after an application for coverage has been filed and the applicable service fees have been submitted; or
The date on which the crop is planted (this cannot exceed the final planting date).
An annual crop coverage period comes to an end on the earliest date of any of these events:
- The usual harvest date for the crop;
- The final date of the harvest of the crop;
- The date on which the crop was abandoned; or
- The date the entire crop acreage is destroyed.
Coverage Periods for Perennial Crops
Excluding crops for forage, the period for perennial crops starts 30 (thirty) calendar days after the application closing date. This period ends on the earliest date of any of these events:
- The date on which the harvest is done;
- 10 (ten) months from the application closing date;
- The normal harvest date for the crop;
- The date on which the crop was abandoned; or
- The date on which the entire crop acreage was destroyed.
Controlled environment crops, perennial forage crops, specialty crops and value loss crops have different coverage periods. To determine what the coverage periods are for these categories of crops, get in touch with your local Farm Services Agency office.
Our Agriculture Lawyers Can Assist Your Farm:
Working With You to Apply for Coverage
Our Non-insured Crop Disaster Claims attorneys can take care of your coverage applications for producers for minimal fees. We are capable of counseling and helping you in navigating the coverage types, premium fees, and deadlines. We can also help you figure out whether or not you qualify for Service Fee and Premium Discounts. If you do qualify, the discount may help protect your crops at a reduced rate.
Application closing dates are not flexible. In light of this fact, you should get in touch with your FSA state committee to confirm what the application closing date is for your category of crop. Bear in mind that various crops have different application closing dates. We can answer the majority of your questions about whether or not your crop is eligible or how to do your application for coverage. Call our agriculture specialists today.
Filing an NAP Claim
Financial assistance to producers can be accessed through a unique claims process. Our agricultural specialist attorneys can file your NAP claim with the Farm Service Agency and prepare the paperwork that you need to file a successful claim. Nonetheless, filing a non-insured crop disaster assistance program claim is a time sensitive matter. Your claim needs to be at your local FSA office within 15 (fifteen) calendar days of the earliest of the following events:
- The occurrence of a natural disaster;
- The normal harvest date;
- The final planting date if planting was inhibited by a natural disaster; or
- The date that damage to the crop or loss of production becomes apparent.
Farmers who work with hand-harvested crops and a category of perishable crops need to make their claims within 72 hours of the date a loss becomes evident. Crops that are included in this 72-hour rule are listed in the NAP Basic Provisions. Get in touch with our offices immediately after you realize a loss may occur so that we can start the claim process for you in a timely fashion.
Appeals for Noninsured Crop Disaster Claims
In reality, the USDA often denies NAP claims filed by producers and farmers. In such situations, we have NAP appeals attorneys who can handle your appeal, and bring a thorough and detailed case before the Administrative Judge. Our experience can help you get a reversal of an NAP claim denial, and in a few cases, even have your attorney’s fees and costs paid back by the USDA. These kinds of cases are highly time sensitive, so as soon as you are issued a claim denial, give our offices a call.