The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) provided payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019. WHIP+ covered losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines that occurred as a result of those disaster events, milk losses due to adverse weather conditions, and losses to on-farm stored commodities.
June 11, 2021 News Release: USDA to Begin Payments for Producers Impacted by 2018 and 2019 Natural Disasters
Producers who applied for and have received their first WHIP+ payment can expect to receive the second payment beginning in mid-June for eligible crop losses. Due to budget constraints, producers received an initial WHIP+ payment for 2019 crop losses equal to 50% of the calculated payment. This second payment will be equal to 40% of the calculated payment for a total 90% WHIP+ program payment.
About Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus
What did the program cover?
WHIP+ provided payments to eligible producers who suffered eligible crop, tree, bush, vine, or prevented planting losses resulting from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, wildfires, drought, and excessive moisture that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years.
Assistance was also available to producers who experienced losses due to conditions related to those qualifying disaster events, such as excessive rain, high winds, mudslides, and heavy smoke.
Eligible crops for WHIP+ were intended for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years and were eligible for either federal crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, excluding crops intended for grazing since these losses were covered by other disaster recovery programs offered through USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
A list of crops covered by crop insurance is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency Actuarial Information Browser.
Crops must have suffered losses before they were harvested.
Producers must have suffered a loss due to a qualifying disaster event in a primary county that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation. An update in February 2020 expanded program eligibility to counties that experienced D3 and D4 drought in 2018 and 2019.
A full list of all eligible counties is available here. (Updated 4/7/2020)
To be eligible, producers not in these counties were required to supply documentation establishing that crops were directly impacted by a qualifying disaster event.
Tree, Bush, and Vine Options
WHIP+ provided payments based on the loss of value of trees, bushes, and vines due to qualifying disaster events.
Eligibility for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) was expanded to assist eligible orchardists or nursery tree growers of pecan trees that suffered a mortality rate greater than 7.5% and less than 15% (adjusted for normal mortality) for losses that occurred in 2018.
Assistance to Sugar Beet Producers
USDA provided $285 million through sugar beet processing cooperatives to compensate grower members for sugar beet crop losses in 2018 and 2019.
Additional Loss Coverage
WHIP+ included a Milk Loss Program that provided payments to eligible dairy operations that dumped or removed milk without compensation from the commercial milk market. Covered milk losses were due to a qualifying natural disaster in 2018 and 2019.
A new On-Farm Storage Loss Program was also included in WHIP+. This program assisted producers who suffered losses of harvested commodities, including hay, that were stored in on-farm structures in 2018 and 2019.
Many agricultural producers faced significant challenges planting crops in 2019. Eligible producers received additional prevented planting related payments.
Producers who filed prevented planting insurance claims due to flooding or excess moisture in the 2019 calendar year received a “bonus” payment totaling 10% of their indemnity, and an additional 5% was provided to producers who purchased harvest price option coverage.
WHIP+ provided prevented planting assistance to uninsured producers, NAP producers, producers who may have been prevented from planting an insured crop in the 2018 crop year, and 2019 crops that had a final planting date prior to January 1, 2019.
What were the program requirements?
Both insured and uninsured producers were eligible to apply for WHIP+, but all producers who received payments for crop losses and prevented planting losses were required to purchase either crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage. Coverage was required at the 60% level or higher for the next two available, consecutive crop years following the crop year for which WHIP+ payments were distributed.
If producers fail to purchase crop insurance for the next two consecutive years, they will be required to pay back their WHIP+ payment.
How were WHIP+ payments calculated?
Payments were targeted to provide assistance for production losses. However, if quality was taken into consideration under either insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy where production was adjusted, the adjusted production was used when calculating assistance.
Producers who suffered crop losses due to 2018 disasters received 100 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application was approved. Producers who suffered crop losses due to 2019 disasters received an initial 50 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application was approved, and received up to the remaining 50 percent after January 1, 2020, based on funding.
Producers were limited to $125,000 under WHIP+ for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years combined if their average adjusted gross farm income was less than 75 percent of their average adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2015, 2016, and 2017. If at least 75 percent of the producer’s average AGI was derived from farming, ranching, or forestry related activities, the producer was eligible to receive up to $250,000 per crop year in WHIP+ payments, with a total combined limitation for payments for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years of $500,000.
FSA calculated WHIP+ payment based upon the expected value of the crop, the value of the crop harvested, the level of insurance coverage (as reflected in the WHIP factor), a payment factor, and insurance payments received.
The WHIP+ payment formula was:
WHIP+ Payment = Expected Value of Crop x WHIP Factor - Actual Value of Crop Harvested x Payment Factor - NAP Payment or Crop Insurance Indemnity Received by Producer
The WHIP factor was 70 percent for producers who did not obtain crop insurance or NAP coverage, between 75 and 95 percent for producers who did obtain crop insurance or NAP coverage, and 95 percent for producers who elected the highest coverage level.
The payment factor varied by state and commodity and was set to reflect the decreased costs incurred by producers when the crop was not harvested or was prevented from being planted.
|Coverage Level||WHIP+ Factor|
|CAT/ NAP Basic 50/55||75%|
|50% - <55%||77.5%|
|55% - <60%||80%|
|60% - <65%||82.5%|
|65% - <70%||85%|
|70% - <75%||87.5%|
|75% - <80%||92.5%|
|> = 80%||95%|
|Supplemental Coverage Option||95%|
When did program signup open and close?
Signup for WHIP+ opened in September 2019, and in February 2020, USDA announced some expansions to the program funded through the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. The expansions included assistance for:
- losses due to excessive moisture and D3 and D4 drought,
- sugar beet losses, and
- quality losses.
Note: Signup opened March 23, 2020 for losses because of excessive moisture and D3 and D4 drought.
The enrollment period for WHIP+ ended on October 30, 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 the pandemic. Some USDA offices are beginning to reopen to limited visitors by appointment only. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. 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.