The signup period has opened for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program. Producers that have experienced certain crop quality losses because of natural disasters have until March 5 to apply for the QLA program. The announcement was made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency earlier in the week. Funding for the assistance is made possible by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020.
“Farmers and livestock producers nationwide experienced crop quality losses due to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019,” USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Bill Northey said in a news release. “We have worked diligently over the past couple of years to roll out meaningful disaster assistance programs to help alleviate the substantial financial loss experienced by so many agricultural producers and are pleased to offer quality loss assistance as added relief. Many of the eligible producers have already received compensation for quantity losses.”
The QLA program is open to producers that suffered losses from natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Qualifying natural disasters include wildfire, excessive moisture, flooding, and certain drought conditions. For producers to be eligible they must be from counties that have received either a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation. A total of 34 counties received a qualifying designation for 2018, 2019, or both. QLA assistance is available for drought losses based on a rating from the U.S. Drought Monitor. There are eight qualifying California counties for 2018 and four for 2019.
Producers outside of the designated counties can still apply for the QLA program, but most prove a crop was directly impacted by a qualifying disaster. Crops that are eligible for assistance include those that are eligible for federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage. Grazed crops, value loss crops, and crops destroyed before harvest are ineligible. Losses of crop quality occurring after harvest are also not eligible for assistance.