Federal disaster programs such as WHIP and WHIP+ help farmers and ranchers through losses stemming from natural disasters. Micheal Clements shares more on the vital programs from USDA.
Clements: Farmers who suffer losses from natural disasters need financial certainty. AFBF Congressional Relations Director Scott Bennett says the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program, known as WHIP, offset those losses in 2018 and 2019.
Bennett: It serves to provide payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019. WHIP+ covers the losses of the 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.
Clements: Bennett says these programs are vital for producers who suffered natural disaster-related losses.
Bennett: For the crop years of 2018 and 2019, this program provided additional financial certainty for those farmers who suffered a crop loss due to a natural disaster when crop insurance couldn’t cover the entire loss. Disaster assistance is critically important for the vitality of American farmers.
Clements: Bennett adds farmers need WHIP and WHIP+ coverage for 2020 and 2021.
Bennett: We at American Farm Bureau are working with Congress to also include 2020 and 2021 in WHIP coverage. We also are aware of the regional sensitivities and varying disasters in the country, and making sure that all natural disasters that affect our farmers are included in a comprehensive program moving forward.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.