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Program Payments Aid Local Economy

By Staff | Feb 23, 2010

With the signup period underway for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, SURE, Palo Alto County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Les Zobrist is urging local producers to sign up for the SURE program.

According to Zobrist, the program has the potential to restore millions of dollars of lost crop revenue to the areas local economy. Northwest Iowa area farmers who suffered crop losses during the 2008 crop year need to contact their local FSA office to see if they qualify for a SURE payment. Producers in Palo Alto, Clay, Dickinson, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Pocahontas, Emmet, Humboldt, and Kossuth are SURE eligible USDA Secretary of Agriculture declared disaster or contingent counties.

The Supplemental Revenue assistance program (SURE) was created by the 2008 Farm Bill to provide payments to producers who have farm revenue losses due to natural disasters for crop years 2008 through 2011. Eligibility requirements along with Crop Insurance, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, or Beginning Farmer significance will be explained by the FSA County Office.

The following conditions can trigger SURE payments:

**At least one crop of economic significance must suffer a 10% production loss due to an eligible disaster condition.

**Economic significance means the crop contributes at least 5% or more towards the total revenue from all crops on the farm.

SURE differs from crop insurance and previous FSA disaster programs. SURE considers yield and revenue losses from all crops on all farms operated by the producer rather than losses on an individual farm by farm basis. SURE takes into consideration crop insurance indemnities and commodity program payments, so producers are not paid more than once for the same loss. Since SURE losses are based on the producers crop insurance yield and price guarantees, base yields can be higher than past disaster levels and producers may still qualify for a SURE payment.

“SURE is a program to supplement farm revenue or Federal Crop Insurance loss payments and will vary with the level of coverage a producer carries,” Zobrist said “FSA has already made substantial payments to farmers with 2008 crop losses who applied for SURE. Producers who feel they had a crop loss in 2008 need to contact their local FSA office to determine if they are eligible for a SURE payment.”

Producers should contact their local county FSA office if they have any questions about FSA programs or visit the FSA website to view a Fact Sheet and SURE calculator at www.fsa.usda.gov