Summary of Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program

The National Cotton Council prepared a summary of the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP), with funding provided by Congress to help producers affected by the hurricanes and wildfires in 2017.

Published: May 3, 2018
Updated: May 4, 2018

Summary of USDA Agricultural Disaster Program – Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP)
Hurricane Recovery: To be eligible a crop, tree, bush or vine must be located in a primary disaster county with either a Presidential declaration or a Secretarial designation due to a 2017 hurricane. Crops, trees, bushes or vines located in other counties may also be eligible if the producer provides documentation that the loss was caused by a 2017 hurricane.
Wildfire Recovery: Any crop, tree, bush or vine, damaged by a 2017 wildfire is eligible. 
Eligible Producers: Eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, using the level of insurance coverage purchased for 2017 for the total crop acres on the area for which the WHIP application is made.  This is a crop by crop loss determination and will be based on the insurance unit – this is not a whole farm loss like the previous SURE disaster program.  
Eligible producers who certify to an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least 75 percent derived from farming or ranching, including other agriculture and forestry-based businesses during the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015, will be eligible for a $900,000 payment limitation with verification. All other eligible producers requesting 2017 WHIP benefits will be subject to a $125,000 payment limitation.  There is no adjusted gross income (AGI) test.
Crop Insurance Requirement: Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP. However, all producers opting to receive 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase crop insurance at a minimum of 60% coverage level, or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) at the 60% buy up coverage level if crop insurance is not available. Coverage must be in place for the next two applicable crop years to meet program requirements. 
Acreage Reporting Requirements: In addition, for the applicable crop years, all producers are required to file an acreage report and report production (if applicable). 
Payment Formula: FSA will calculate WHIP payments with this formula:
Payment = Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP Factor - Value of Crop Harvested - Insurance Indemnity
•    The expected value of the crop will be determined based on insurance price x insurance (APH) yield x acres.  If no insurance on the crop, then a county average yield will be used.
•    The WHIP factor ranges from 65 percent to 95 percent.  Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 will receive a 65 percent WHIP Factor. Insured producers, or producers who had NAP, will receive between 70 percent and 95 percent WHIP Factors; those purchasing higher levels of coverage will receive higher WHIP Factors based on the level of insurance coverage between 50% and 85%.
•    Once the producer completes the application process, a 50% advance payment will be made, and then the remainder of the payment will be made once the signup period is complete.