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2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program

The 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) provides disaster payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. 2017 WHIP is specifically targeted to losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines that occurred in the 2017 and 2018 calendar years.

Enrollment for 2017 WHIP originally ended on November 16, 2018, but has recently been extended for specific new disasters and eligible crop losses identified in September 2019.
 

2019 program updates

On September 11, 2019, 2017 WHIP eligibility will be expanded to accommodate new disasters and crop losses experienced in 2017 and 2018.

New 2017 eligibility criteria

  • Losses due to Tropical Storm Cindy
  • Losses due to hurricane damage
  • Losses of peach crops due to extreme cold
  • Losses of blueberry crops due to extreme cold
  • Blueberry productivity losses due to hurricane damage

New 2018 eligibility criteria

  • Blueberry productivity losses due to extreme cold
     

Learn more about the program

What does the program cover?

Wildfire Recovery
The USDA Farm Service Agency will determine eligibility for wildfire losses on an individual basis, factoring in the level of insurance coverage purchased by the farmer. Wildfire recovery will also include mudslides and heavy smoke resulting from the effects of wildfires.

Hurricane Recovery
2017 WHIP for hurricane losses and related conditions, such as excessive rain and flooding, will be available for eligible farms in counties that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation.  This includes counties or parishes in at least nine states and territories:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virgin Islands

View the full list of counties and parishes.

Other crops, trees, bushes, or vines outside of these identified counties may be eligible if the producer provides documentation the loss was caused by a 2017 hurricane. 

Citrus Growers in Florida
Through the new program, the USDA Farm Service Agency will directly reimburse producers for crop losses in 2018. 

USDA also is providing a grant to Florida, which is reimbursing citrus producers for the cost of buying and planting replacement trees - including resetting and grove rehabilitation - and for repair of damages to irrigation systems. This grant is also providing assistance for losses of citrus production expected during the 2019 and 2020 crop years.  

Read the USDA press release about 2017 WHIP and Florida.

What are the program requirements?

Risk Management Requirement
Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for the program. But all producers receiving 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase risk management coverage:

The program requires producers to have coverage for the next two crop years.

Acreage Reporting Requirements
Producers are required to file acreage reports and report production for the applicable crop years.

How do I estimate payment?

The 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program covers the loss of crops, trees, bushes, or vines and the loss in production

The program covers production loss separately as the loss may be covered by another USDA risk management program, which is calculated using the formula outlined below.

USDA is using this formula:
(Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP Factor*) – Value of Crop Harvested - Insurance Indemnity = Payment

*The WHIP factor ranges from 65 percent to 95 percent. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 will receive 65 percent of the expected value of the crop. Insured producers, or producers who had Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, will receive between 70 percent and 95 percent of expected value; those purchasing the highest levels of coverage will receive 95 percent coverage.

Payments for Puerto Rico Producers
USDA is calculating payments differently in Puerto Rico because of damages to offices and the agriculture industry. USDA is asking Puerto Rican producers to provide crop acres and percent of crop loss. USDA is calculating the loss using the insurance or NCT price multiplied by the expected yield times the producers crop acres. The actual value of the crop is being calculated using the insurance or NCT price multiplied by the expected yield multiplied the reciprocal of the producer-certified percent of loss multiplied by the producer’s crop acres.

Payments for Other Producers
USDA is determining compensation by a producer’s individual losses rather than an average of losses in the area. Producers are subject to a $125,000 payment limitation, meaning a producer can’t receive more than $125,000 for losses. But a producer can receive a higher payment if three-fourths or more of their income is derived from farming or another agricultural-based business. Producers who derived 75 percent of their income in tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015 will be subject to a $900,000 payment limitation.


Check on the status of your application

Have you already completed a 2017 Wildfire and Hurricanes Indemnity Program application? You can view and track your application through the authenticated farmers.gov portal. Visit farmers.gov/sign-in to learn more about the farmers.gov portal and e-authentication.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county to find your local service center and agency offices.

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.

Prepare for Your Visit to the Service Center

Producers who have not participated in a USDA program should contact their local USDA service center to establish farm records. To establish a farm tract number, be sure to bring the following items:

checkbox imageProof of identity such as driver’s license or Social Security number/card
checkbox imageCopy of recorded deed, survey plat, rental, or lease agreement of the land (You do not have to own property to participate in USDA programs.)
checkbox imageArticles of incorporation, estate, or trust documents for entities

For 2017 WHIP we also recommend that you bring:

checkbox imageVerifiable and reliable production records by crop, type, practice, intended use, and acres if not already on file