The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that agricultural producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 may now apply for assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operations. Through the new Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP), eligible crops, trees, bushes or vines located in a county declared in a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration as a ‘primary county’ are eligible for assistance if the producer suffered a loss as a result of a 2017 hurricane or wildfire.
Agricultural production losses due to conditions caused by last year’s wildfires and hurricanes, including excessive rain, high winds, flooding, mudslides, fire and heavy smoke, could qualify for assistance through the program. WHIP signup began July 16, 2018, and will continue through Nov. 16, 2018.
USDA will host informational meetings throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands this month to provide details about the new Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP).
WHIP Town Hall Meeting Schedule
St. Thomas from 6-8 p.m., Aug. 20, at ACC Building Room 142-1A, UVI
St. John from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 21, at Legislature
St. Croix from 6-8 p.m., Aug. 27, at UVI Great Hall
♦ Applications will be taken on St. John on Aug. 21, after the meeting
♦ Applications will be taken on St. Thomas at the UVI Extension Service Conference Room
– August 22 and 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
– August 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
♦ Applications will be taken on St. Croix at any time.
(St. Croix producers should make an appointment by calling 778-9146, ext. 100. The USDA-NRCS Caribbean Area, St. Croix Field Office has a small staff and it wants to give each person the attention they deserve.) Caribbean Area NRCS Website: www.pr.nrcs.usda.gov