The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is receiving inquiries regarding eligibility for its wildfires and hurricanes indemnity program plus (WHIP+) due to 2019 moisture. The program provides assistance to eligible producers who suffered crop losses due directly to flooding.

The following definition of “flood” has been developed by the Minnesota state FSA committee for purposes of this program.

Disaster events directly related to flooding must have occurred to be eligible for WHIP+.

Other qualifying disaster events in Minnesota include tornados and blizzards that resulted in a crop loss as determined by the state risk management association (RMA).

A flood is a temporary condition of overflowing water submerging land that is usually dry, with two or more inches of standing water for two or more consecutive days.

Some examples are:

• When rivers or streams overflow

• Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters tied to a water source such as wetlands, rivers, streams, creeks (including drainage systems)

• When dams or levees break

• Rapid snow melt

This flooding could result in:

• Crops which become submerged with two or more inches of standing water for two or more consecutive days

• Erosion caused by currents which cause property damage.

Crop damage that is not caused directly by flooding is not eligible for assistance under this program. For example, excessive rainfall which delayed wheat harvest which then caused a loss of quality, such as low falling numbers, would not be a qualifying cause of loss for WHIP+, since the crop damage was not a direct result of flooding.

FSA county offices want to remind producers what they need to have before they can apply for assistance. 

They need to have finalized their claim(s) with their crop insurance company or RMA since the production data will be provided directly by RMA to FSA for insured crops.

All of the acreage of the crop in the applicable RMA unit will be included in the WHIP+ application when determining eligibility.

For example, if the RMA unit consists of 300 acres of wheat and only 10 acres are damaged by flooding, all of the production from 300 acres will be used in the payment calculation.

This may result in no payment earned if the other acreage did not also suffer significant damage.

All producers may apply but must provide acceptable documentation to FSA that they suffered losses caused by flooding or other WHIP+ qualifying weather event.

Producers who apply for WHIP+ must obtain crop insurance on the crop paid under WHIP+ for the two consecutive crop years of 2022 and 2023 at a level of 60/100 or equivalent.

If you have suffered crop loss due to flooding and the claim has been finalized by crop insurance, you should contact the local FSA county office to schedule an appointment to apply for WHIP+.