The 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) provided disaster payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. 2017 WHIP was specifically targeted to losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines that occurred in the 2017 and 2018 calendar years.
The enrollment period for 2017 WHIP is now closed. Crop producers who suffered quality losses due to natural disasters that occurred in 2018 or 2019 may be eligible for USDA’s new Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program. The deadline to apply for QLA is March 5, 2021. Learn more at farmers.gov/quality-loss.
Check Your Application Status
Did you complete 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.
About 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program
What did the program cover?
The USDA Farm Service Agency determined eligibility for wildfire losses on an individual basis, factoring in the level of insurance coverage purchased by the farmer. Wildfire recovery also included mudslides and heavy smoke resulting from the effects of wildfires.
2017 WHIP for hurricane losses and related conditions, such as excessive rain and flooding, was available for eligible farms in counties that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation. This included counties or parishes in at least nine states and territories.
Other crops, trees, bushes, or vines outside of these identified counties may have been eligible if the producer provided documentation the loss was caused by a 2017 hurricane.
Citrus Growers in Florida
Through the new program, the USDA Farm Service Agency directly reimbursed producers for crop losses in 2018.
USDA also provided a grant to Florida to reimburse 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 also provided assistance for losses of citrus production expected during the 2019 and 2020 crop years.
What were the program requirements?
Risk Management Requirements
Both insured and uninsured producers were eligible to apply for the program. All producers receiving 2017 WHIP payments were required to purchase risk management coverage. Options included:
- crop insurance at the 60 percent coverage level or
- Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage if crop insurance was not available.
The program required producers to have coverage for the next two crop years.
Acreage Reporting Requirements
Producers were required to file acreage reports and report production for the applicable crop years.
How were 2017 WHIP payments estimated?
2017 WHIP covered the loss of crops, trees, bushes, or vines and the loss in production.
The program covered production loss separately as the loss may have been covered by another USDA risk management program.
USDA used this formula:
(Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP Factor*) – Value of Crop Harvested – Insurance Indemnity = Payment
*The WHIP factor ranged from 65 percent to 95 percent. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 received 65 percent of the expected value of the crop. Insured producers, or producers who participated in the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program,received between 70 percent and 95 percent of expected value. Those who had purchased the highest levels of coverage received 95 percent.
Payments for Puerto Rico Producers
USDA calculated payments differently in Puerto Rico because of damages to offices and the agriculture industry. USDA calculated the loss using the insurance or NCT price multiplied by the expected yield times the producers crop acres. The actual value of the crop was 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 determined compensation by a producer’s individual losses rather than an average of losses in the area. Producers were subject to a $125,000 payment limitation for 2017 WHIP, meaning a producer couldn’t receive more than $125,000 for losses. A producer could receive a higher payment if three-fourths or more of their income was derived from farming or another agricultural-based business. Producers who derived 75 percent of their income in tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015 were subject to a $900,000 payment limitation.
What was included in 2019 program updates?
On September 11, 2019, 2017 WHIP eligibility was expanded to accommodate new disasters and crop losses experienced in 2017 and 2018.
New 2017 eligibility criteria included:
- 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, and
- blueberry productivity losses due to hurricane damage.
New 2018 eligibility criteria included blueberry productivity losses due to extreme cold.
When did program signup open and close?
The enrollment period for 2017 WHIP is closed. Enrollment for this program originally ended on November 16, 2018, but was extended for specific new disasters and eligible crop losses identified in September 2019. This extended enrollment period for 2017 WHIP ended on November 20, 2020.
Find Your Local Service Center
We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. While employees continue to staff our Service Centers, some are only available for phone appointments at this time. You can learn the status of your service center through this tool. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to ﬁnd your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.
Visit the Risk Management Agency website to ﬁnd a regional or compliance office or to ﬁnd an insurance agent near you.