The National Corn Growers Association would like to remind growers impacted by 2008 crop losses that they still have the opportunity to signup for the permanent disaster assistance program, Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE). To be eligible, growers must meet a risk-management purchase requirement by having either federal crop insurance or being enrolled in the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

The farm must be located in a county covered by a qualifying natural disaster declaration and a 10% production loss on a crop of economic significance must have been sustained. Individual producers outside designated areas can also be eligible if the overall production loss is greater than 50%.

Created by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), the Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund finances five separate programs that comprehensively address agricultural disasters across the nation, including the SURE program. SURE is expected to provide assistance to producers who suffered qualifying crop production losses, crop quality losses or both due to disaster, adverse weather or other environmental conditions beginning with the 2008 crop year and ending with losses incurred on or before Sept. 30, 2011. The inclusion of a permanent crop disaster program in the 2008 Farm Bill is a change from the ad hoc crop disaster programs that had served as Congress’s primary instrument to disburse crop disaster assistance.

Last year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the so-called “stimulus bill”) increased benefits and expanded eligibility for producers in the SURE Program. The changes increased potential payments by increasing the guarantee and provided an additional “buy-in” period to enable producers to become eligible for the SURE program.

With SURE, producers gain an additional tool to help manage revenue losses. More specifically, the SURE program helps mitigate the threats of lower-than-expected yields and prices by providing a revenue guarantee for producers’ total farming interest. The SURE program is designed to work in combination with Federal crop insurance.

For more information on the SURE program, visit the FSA Web site.