Feb. 28: Deadline for vegetables producers to sign up for NAP coverage

Thursday, Feb. 28, is the deadline for producers of noninsurable crops to sign up for the Noninsured Assistance Program.

Noninsurable crops are primarily fruit and vegetable crops, such as Southern peas, sweet potatoes, peppers, okra, squash, cantaloupes and watermelon, said Henry English, director of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

A few vegetable crops, such as green beans, sweet corn and tomatoes (spring and fall) have a March 15 deadline, English said.

NAP provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or planting is prevented because of natural disasters, English said. Natural disasters include drought, freezes, hail, wild fires, disease and excessive rains.

NAP fees are $250 per crop or $750 for farmers with multiple crops. The maximum fee for farmers with multiple crops in multiple counties is $1,875. Fees are due upon sign up, said English, who added that limited resource producers may request a waiver of service fees.

Growers who are planting both spring and fall-planted crops, such as Southern peas and squash, must sign up for both by Thursday, Feb. 28. Farmers will also incur a separate fee for the fall planting in addition to the spring planting fee: In other words, $250 for each planting, English said.

Limited-resource status differs in each county. For example, a limited resource farmer in Jefferson County is one with gross farm sales of $172,800 or less for each of the previous two years and an adjusted gross household income of $23,050.

A limited-resource producer or rancher Self-Determination Tool is available at www.lrftool.sc.egov.usda.gov/DeterminationTool.aspx?fyYear=2013. An alternative method is to Google limited resource farmer tool 2013.

English said that NAP coverage does not begin until 30 days after completion of application for coverage or the date the crop is planted not to exceed the final planting date.

For more information on NAP or help in signing up, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency.