The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program because of recent winter storms and some clarifications to program rules. This program assists producers who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.
“Because of recent winter storms and some program updates, we want to provide five additional weeks for producers to apply for the program,” said Zach Ducheneaux, administrator of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). “I want to make sure eligible producers have the opportunity to apply and to work with our team members to help with any questions. We recently clarified policy to ensure producers who sold grain to the feed market due to quality issues are adequately compensated.”
The QLA program assists producers whose eligible crops suffered quality losses due to qualifying drought, excessive moisture, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity or wildfires.
Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage is available, except for grazed crops and value loss crops, such as honey, maple sap, aquaculture, floriculture, mushrooms, ginseng root, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees and turfgrass sod. Additionally, crops that were sold or fed to livestock or that are in storage may be eligible.
Assistance is available in counties that received a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation, or, for drought, a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a D3 (extreme drought) or higher. Producers in counties that did not receive a qualifying declaration or designation may still apply but must also provide supporting documentation.
FSA will issue payments once the application period ends. If the total amount of calculated QLA payments exceeds available program funding, payments will be prorated.
FSA began accepting applications on Jan. 6 and has received more than 8,100 applications so far.
To apply, contact your local USDA service center. Additional information is also available at farmers.gov/quality-loss. Producers can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling (877) 508-8364.
While USDA offices are currently closed to visitors because of the pandemic, service center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email and other digital tools. To conduct business, please contact your local USDA service center. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.