New USDA Program for Producers Hit by Hurricanes

Cindy Zimmerman

Flooded citrus groves in Florida after Hurricane Irma

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details this week on eligibility for a new USDA disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). USDA will also provide $340 million through a block grant to the State of Florida specifically for Hurricane Irma losses to citrus production expected during the 2018 through the 2020 crop year to provide reimbursement for the cost of buying and planting replacement trees.

The WHIP program will help producers in at least nine states with recovery of their agricultural operations due to hurricane and wildfire damage with $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. “While USDA has a suite of disaster programs as well as crop insurance available to help producers manage their risk, Congress felt it was important to provide extra assistance to our nation’s farms and ranches that were the hardest hit last year,” Secretary Perdue said. “At President Trump’s direction, our team is working as quickly as possible to make this new program available to farmers in need.”

In the video below, Perdue comments on the Florida citrus aid, along with Florida Governor Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. In addition, AgNet Media’s Abbey Taylor interviewed Perdue about the details. AgNet interview with Perdue on hurricane loss program

Audio, Citrus, USDA, Video