Fifteen California counties and two in Arizona were approved for federal loss payments due to frost or freeze damage in 2012.

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) assistance will cover losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year. The program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides supplemental NAP payment to eligible producers.

Counties eligible for the payments include Coconino and Mojave in Arizona, and the following California counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tehama, Tulare and Ventura.

Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for NAP assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance.

NAP enrollment begins July 22. Applications must be submitted to FSA county offices by Sept. 22.

“After the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “Fruit producers experienced significant financial losses from weather-related damage in 2012. NAP provides them with long-awaited disaster relief.”

To expedite applications, producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the sign-up in this program. Producers also are encouraged to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment. Limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions.

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Interested producers can view the 2012 NAP Coverage for Frost, Freeze or Weather Related Fruit Losses Fact Sheet at http://go.usa.gov/5kSQ, or visit a local FSA office. To find out if land is located in an eligible frost/freeze county, visit http://go.usa.gov/53rz.