Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus

The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) provides disaster payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. WHIP+ is specifically targeted to losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years.

WHIP+ builds upon the 2017 Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) to include new programs for both milk losses due to adverse weather conditions and losses to on-farm stored commodities.

Enrollment for WHIP+ began on September 11, 2019.

Learn more about the program

What does the program cover?

WHIP+ will provide payments to eligible producers who suffered eligible crop, tree, bush, vine, or prevented planting losses resulting from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, and wildfires that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years.

Assistance will also be available to producers who experienced losses due to conditions related to disaster events, such as excessive rain, high winds, mudslides, heavy smoke, and other related conditions.

Additional Loss Coverage

WHIP+ includes a new Milk Loss Program that will provide payments to eligible dairy operations that dumped or removed milk without compensation from the commercial milk market. The milk losses must be due to a qualifying natural disaster in 2018 and 2019.

A new On-Farm Storage Loss Program is also included in WHIP+. This program will provide assistance to producers who suffered losses of harvested commodities, including hay, that were stored in on-farm structures in 2018 and 2019.

Prevented Planting

As many agricultural producers faced significant challenges planting crops in 2019 across the country, eligible producers can receive additional prevented planting related payments.

Producers who filed prevented planting insurance claims due to flooding or excess moisture in the 2019 calendar year will receive a “bonus” payment totaling 10% of their indemnity, and an additional 5% will be provided to producers who purchased harvest price option coverage.

WHIP+ will provide prevented planting assistance to uninsured producers, Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (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 are the program requirements?

Eligible Crops

Eligible crops must be intended for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years. They also must be eligible for either crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, excluding crops intended for grazing since these losses are covered by other disaster recovery programs offered through FSA.

A list of crops covered by crop insurance is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) Actuarial Information Browser.

Crops must be yield-based and value loss crops that suffered losses before they were able to be harvested.

Eligible Locations

Producers must be located in a county that received a qualifying Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration of Secretarial Disaster Designation. A full list of all eligible counties is available here.

Producers not in these counties may also be eligible, but must supply documentation establishing that crops were directly impacted by a qualifying disaster event.

Eligibility for Other Programs

The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) usually provides cost-share for the replanting and rehabilitation of eligible trees. Through WHIP+, payments for TAP will be expanded to provide payments based on the loss of value of the tree, bush, or vine itself. Additionally, TAP policy has been updated to assist eligible orchardists or nursery tree growers of pecan trees that have a mortality rate greater than 7.5% and less than 15% (adjusted for normal mortality) for losses that occurred in 2018.

Future Insurance Coverage

Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP+, but all producers who receive payments will be required to purchase either crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage. Coverage should be 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 do I estimate payment?

Payments are 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 will be used when calculating assistance. 

Producers who suffer crop losses due to 2018 disasters will be compensated at 100 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application is approved. Producers who suffer crop losses due to 2019 disasters will be limited to an initial 50 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application is approved, with an opportunity to receive up to the remaining 50 percent after January 1, 2020, if sufficient funding remains.

Payments are calculated using the person’s or entity’s average adjusted gross income (AGI) and other factors that are related to the average adjusted gross farm income. These factors include income from activities related to farming, ranching, or forestry. Relevant tax years for determining AGI are 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Payment Formula

Eligibility is determined based on the size of the loss and also the level of insurance coverage the producer has elected. A “WHIP+ factor” will be determined for each crop based on the producer’s coverage level. If a producer elected a higher coverage level, their “WHIP+ factor” will also be higher.

USDA is using this formula:

(Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP+ Payment Factor*) – Value of Crop Harvested – Insurance Indemnity = Payment

*The WHIP+ payment factor ranges from 75 percent to 95 percent, depending upon the level of crop insurance coverage or NAP coverage that a producer obtained for the crop. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2018 or 2019 will receive 70 percent of the expected value of the crop. Insured producers will receive between 75 percent and 95 percent of expected value; those who purchased the highest levels of coverage will receive 95-percent coverage.

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 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