Editor's note: the long-awaited 2009 disaster payments to producers have been green-lit. Announced on Sept. 15, the following is a USDA summary of the 2009 disaster assistance program. For more, see linked stories.

Section 32 Authority: To re-establish farmers’ purchasing power by making payments in connection with the normal production of an agricultural commodity for domestic consumption.

(1) Crop Assistance Program – up to $550 million (FY 2011)

• Eligible commodities are upland cotton, rice, soybeans and sweet potatoes.

• Eligible counties are those Secretarially-designated primary disaster counties designated due to high precipitation or moisture conditions in 2009.

• Producers who certify to at least a five percent loss in 2009 will receive a payment based on a pre-determined payment rate multiplied by the actual planted (or prevented planted) acres that they have on file with FSA.

• FSA will promulgate a regulation to implement this program that applies average adjusted gross income eligibility requirements and payment limitations consistent with other disaster programs.

• Payment rates per acre for eligible producers:

 

Long Grain Rice

Medium/Short Grain Rice

Soybeans

Sweet Potatoes

Upland Cotton

$31.93

$52.46

$15.62

$155.41

$17.70

(2) Lost Poultry Contract Assistance Program – up to $60 million (FY 2010)

 

• USDA will provide $60 million in the form of a grant to those states where poultry producers lost a contract due to the bankruptcy of an integrator in December of 2008.

• Poultry producers must have lost their contract with the bankrupt integrator between May 1, 2008 and July 1, 2010, and been unable to enter into a subsequent contract. A grant will be made to all States with impacted producers to help cover the needs of these producers.

• Payments will be based upon a producer’s most recent 12 months receipts multiplied by a payment factor to ensure that not over $60 million is spent and no producer’s payment is over 95% of their previous 12 months receipts.

• Average adjusted gross income and payment limitations consistent with other disaster programs will apply.

 

(3) Aquaculture Grant Program – up to $20 million (FY 2010)

• USDA will provide $20 million in the form of a grant to those states where farm-raised aquaculture producers need assistance due to high feed input costs in 2009.

• Funding will be allocated to States on a pro rata basis, based on total benefits earned by all eligible 2008 aquaculture producers in each State under the 2008 AGP, authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

• To be eligible a producer must: (1) have raised an aquaculture species in a controlled environment in 2009, (2) have produced an aquaculture species for which 2009 feed costs represented at least 25 percent of the producer's total input costs for the aquaculture operation, and (3) have experienced at least a 25 percent price increase of 2009 feed costs above the State’s 2003-2007 5-year average feed price.

• Average adjusted gross income and payment limitations consistent with other disaster programs will apply.