Monday USDA begins to provide up to $550 million in disaster assistance to producers of rice, upland cotton, soybeans and sweet potatoes that suffered losses because of excessive moisture or related conditions in 2009. This assistance will be issued by the Farm Service Agency through the Crop Assistance Program. In making the announcement, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said producers continue to feel the effects of those crop losses and this program will provide timely assistance.
Payments will be made available to producers of eligible crops that received Secretarial disaster designations due to excessive moisture or related conditions in 2009. Producers of eligible crops on farms in disaster counties who certify to a 5% or greater crop loss will receive a payment based on a predetermined payment rate times the planted acres of the crop. Producers will initially receive 75% of their CAP payment and once sign up is complete they will receive up to an additional 25%.
The predetermined payment rates for the eligible crops are: Long grain rice – $31.93 per acre; Medium or short grain rice – $52.46 per acre; Upland Cotton – $17.70 per acre; Soybeans – $15.62 per acre; Sweet potatoes – $155.41 per acre.