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Making an NAP Claim for Non-Insured Crop Disaster - Buffalo Criminal Lawyers

Making an NAP Claim for Non-Insured Crop Disaster

If you had a crop disaster and your claim for benefits was denied, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Attorneys at our firm can work with you to get you some relief.  The USDA Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) was implemented for the purpose of providing financial help to farmers and providers who grow and sell non-insurable crops. Natural disasters can occur at any time. Sometimes they leave lower yields or crop losses in their wake, or make it difficult or impossible to plant crops as normal.  In such cases, the possibility that you are eligible for financial assistance is something you can look into.  The USDA put NAP in place to shelter farmers should they experience lentil, crop losses that severely impact the operation of their farms.

We have specialist attorneys in Agriculture and Crop matters who represent farmers, sharecroppers and producers needing to file for coverage, claims for crop loss, and appeal claim denials.  Our NAP appeals attorneys will work in tandem with your farm or production facility to provide you complete and precision legal representation.  We have a long and superb track record of collaborating with and, at times, battling against the Department to help our clients’ business and livelihood continue.  Retain us today and let our experience and expertise offer strong support to your NAP claims.

Which Crops Are Covered by the NAP?

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program covers some crops but not all, and it covers only selected entities.  Of the crops and entities that are covered, the monetary assistance that is accessible by producers can be disbursed to tenants, sharecroppers or landowners who would also be affected by the risk of growing an “eligible crop.”  What crops are classified as eligible are crops that are commercially produced agricultural commodities and don’t meet the eligibility requirements for normal crop insurance.  

The crops categories that qualify for the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program are listed below:

Crops for Human Consumption

A variety of food items come under this category, including fruits, vegetables and grains grown for consumption by humans but are not otherwise insurable.

Crops for Animal Consumption

This category is composed of grain and forage crops, including native forage, which are cultivated and processed for consumption by livestock animals.  These crops must also not be otherwise insurable.

Controlled Environment Crops

This includes a group of crops that are cultivated in a controlled environment. Floriculture and mushrooms, among others, are in this group. .

 

Specialty Crops

Such crops as honey and maple sap come under this category.  These crops must not be insurable.

 

Fiber-Based Crops 

This category is for crops like flax and cotton. It does not include any trees.

 

Industrial Crops

In this category are crops grown for manufacturing or raised as feedstock for biobased products, renewable biofuel and renewable electricity.

 

Value Loss Crops

This category includes items like aquaculture, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, ginseng and turf-grass sod.

 

Sea Plant Crops

This category includes crops that grow in water, like sea oats and sea grass. If they can be covered by crop insurance, they are not eligible.

Filing a Claim for a Non-insured Crop: What is a Natural Disaster?

The Eligible Natural Disasters as defined by the NAP include:

Damaging Weather

This includes frost and freezes, hail, excessive moisture, droughts, hurricanes or excessive wind.

Adverse Climate Conditions

This is defined as conditions that are related to damaging weather or adverse natural occurrences, such as excessive heat, insect infestation, plant disease or volcanic smog (VOG).

Adverse Natural Occurrences

This category includes such disasters as earthquakes, floods, and in some cases, fires.

For the purposes of an NAP claim, whatever natural disaster caused the conditions for loss of agricultural crops and made it necessary for a farmer to file a claim must have occurred during the coverage period, before or during harvest.  Also, it must directly affect the qualifying crop.  The coverage period can differ in relation to the crop in question. 

What is the Noninsured Crop Coverage Period?

Coverage Period for Annual Crops

Basically, the coverage period for an annual crop starts at the latest date in which any of these events occur:

30 days after an application for coverage has been submitted and the applicable service fees have been paid; or

The date on which the crop is planted (this cannot exceed the final planting date).

An annual crop coverage period comes to an end on the earliest date of any of these events

  1. The final date of the harvest of the crop;
  2. The usual harvest date for the crop;
  3. The date on which the crop was abandoned; or
  4. The date the entire crop acreage is destroyed.

Coverage Periods for Perennial Crops

With the exception of forage crops, the period for perennial crops begins 30 (thirty) calendar days after the application closing date.  This period concludes on the earliest date of any of these five events:

  1. The date on which the harvest is completed;
  2. The usual harvest date for the crop;
  3. 10 (ten) months from the application closing date;
  4. The date on which the crop was abandoned; or
  5. The date on which the entire crop acreage was destroyed.

Controlled environment crops, perennial forage crops, specialty crops and value loss crops also have unique coverage periods.  To find out what the coverage periods are for these categories of crops, reach out to your local Farm Services Agency office.

Specialist Agriculture Lawyers to Help Farmers:

Helping You with your Application for Coverage

The attorneys on our team who specialize in Non-insured Crop Disaster Claims can handle your coverage applications for producers at a relatively low cost.  We are well equipped to counsel and assist you in navigating the premium fees, coverage types, and deadlines.  We can even help you determine whether or not you are eligible for Service Fee and Premium Discounts.  If you do qualify, the discount may help protect your crops at a reduced rate.

The USDA is not flexible with the application closing dates for claims. You should contact your FSA state committee to be certain you know the correct application closing date for your category of crop.  Understand that different categories of crops have different application closing dates. We are ready to answer most of your queries about the eligibility of your crops or how to make out your application for coverage.  Reach out to our agriculture specialists today.

The NAP Claim Filing Process

Monetary relief for producers can be accessed through a unique claims process. Our agricultural specialist lawyers can file your NAP claim with the Farm Service Agency and prepare the documentation that you need to file a successful claim.  Nevertheless, the filing of a non-insured crop disaster assistance program claim is indeed a time sensitive matter.  Your claim needs to arrive at your local FSA office within 15 (fifteen) calendar days of the earliest of these four events:

  1. The customary harvest date;
  2. The occurrence of a natural disaster;
  3. The last planting date if planting was inhibited by a natural disaster; or
  4. The date that damage to the crop or loss of production becomes evident.

The 72-Hour Rule

Those farmers who cultivate  hand-harvested crops and a certain class of perishable crops are required to file their claims within 72 hours of the date a loss becomes apparent.  Crops that come under in this 72-hour rule are listed in the NAP Basic Provisions.  Reach out to someone at our offices immediately once you realize a loss may occur so that we can begin the claim process for you expeditiously.

Appeals for Denied Noninsured Crop Disaster Claims

The fact is that the USDA frequently denies NAP claims filed by producers and farmers.  Under these circumstances, our attorneys are also equipped to handle your NAP appeal, presenting a thorough and detailed case before an Administrative Judge.  Our experience can be useful to you in winning a reversal of an NAP claim denial, and in selected cases, even have your attorney’s fees and costs reimbursed by the USDA.  As with others, such cases are highly time sensitive, so the moment you are issued a claim denial, give our offices a call.

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