Northey: USDA does not know size of Whip+ payment |

Northey: USDA does not know size of Whip+ payment

The Agriculture Department won’t be able to determine the size of payments under the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) program until the application process ends on October 30 and USDA knows the amount of money available, Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey told the Crop Insurance Professionals Association last week.

Northey said more than a billion dollars in WHIP+ payments have been made, but it has been a lengthy process.

“It is a complicated signup process and we have folks still getting information to FSA [Farm Service Agency] offices and we have buried FSA offices with CFAP [Coronavirus Food Assistance Program] and all of the other programs we’ve got,” Northey said in an interview posted by the Red River Farm Network.

In a separate item, the Red River Farm Network reported that Texas A&M University Agriculture and Food Policy Center Co-director Bart Fischer said there isn’t a clear answer about when farmers will get their payments or if they’ll get the remaining 50 percent for the 2019 crop losses.

“The USDA needs enough money to go around. I’m getting mixed messages on whether there will be enough to pay out the second 50 percent on 2019, but I suspect that will bleed into conversations Congress will have in the lame duck session, which may also involve extending WHIP and providing additional funding.”