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 qualifying natural disasters that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. WHIP+ covers losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines that occurred as a result of those disaster events.

WHIP+ also includes new programs for both milk losses due to adverse weather conditions and losses to on-farm stored commodities.

The USDA announced November 8 that since the WHIP+ program sign-up began in September, the Farm Service Agency has distributed millions of dollars in assistance.  Find more information in our November 8, 2019 news release.

Enrollment for WHIP+ began on September 11, 2019.

Down arrow     Download the WHIP+ Fact Sheet (PDF)

Learn more about the program

What does the program cover?

WHIP+ provides 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 those qualifying disaster events, such as excessive rain, high winds, mudslides, and heavy smoke.

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+ provides 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 have suffered losses before they were harvested.

Eligible Locations

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. A full list of all eligible counties is available here. (Updated 12/6/2019)

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

Tree, Bush, and Vine Options

WHIP+ provides payments based on the loss of value of trees, bushes, and vines due to qualifying disaster events.

Eligibility for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) has also been expanded 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 for crop losses and prevented planting losses will be required to purchase either crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage. Coverage must 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 suffered crop losses due to 2018 disasters will receive 100 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application is approved. Producers who suffer crop losses due to 2019 disasters receive an initial 50 percent of their calculated WHIP+ payment once the application is approved, and will receive up to the remaining 50 percent after January 1, 2020, if sufficient funding remains.

Producers will be limited to $125,000 under WHIP+ for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 crop years combined if their average adjusted gross farm income is 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 is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry related activities, the producer is 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.  In order to be eligible for the higher payment limitation, producers must submit FSA-896, Request for an Exception to the WHIP Payment Limitation of $125,000, accompanied by a certification from a certified public accountant or attorney that certifies the person or legal entity’s certification.

 

Payment Formula

FSA calculates the 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 is:

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 ranges from 70 to 95 percent. The WHIP factor is 70 percent for producers who did not obtain crop insurance or NAP coverage. The WHIP factor is between 75 and 95 percent  for producers who did obtain crop insurance or NAP coverage. Producers who elected the highest coverage level will receive 95 percent.

The payment factor varies by state and commodity and is set to reflect the decreased costs incurred by producers when the crop is not harvested or is prevented from being planted.

Coverage Level WHIP+ Factor
Uninsured 70%
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%

 

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