I am pleased to announce to our Texas producers that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just made some important adjustments to their implementation of disaster program provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill. The changes allow eligible producers with certain crops such as citrus to buy into the Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) Program for the 2009 year.
The SURE Program will provide benefits to producers whose crops are damaged by natural disasters. To be eligible, producers had to have previously purchased crop insurance or will need to utilize this one-time buy-in provision.
I contacted USDA after hearing concerns from Texas farmers who were unable to participate in SURE as the sign-up period for the required crop insurance had already passed. I urged USDA to extend the deadline so these farmers could become eligible for the program.
Eligible Texas producers now have until Jan. 12, 2009 to visit their local Farm Service Agency and buy into the SURE Program with respect to certain 2009 crops. Eligibility for this buy-in opportunity is based on whether the crop insurance closing date for their 2009 crop was before the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill.
I urge all Texas producers to find out if they are eligible to receive assistance through SURE. The program will no doubt offer assurance to our local producers and economy in times of potential disaster.
Click HERE for more information on the program