Programs Submission Response: TAP Cost Share Extensions

ISSUE:
1-TAP, para 153 B requires approved replacement practices be completed within 12 months.  The STC may approve one extension up to one year.

FACTS:
Tree nurseries do not propagate stock on speculation.  Trees must be ordered several years in advance to insure the desired combination of variety and rootstock suitable for a grower’s individual conditions and market.  For example, a case in the northeast area forced an apple producer to purchase dwarf apple trees they would not have purchased to plant within the two year time limit.  The loss occurred in 2004, planting was required to be completed by 2006.  Eleven years after re-planting, the block will be cut down by the producer due to poor performance.  The time limitation ended up hurting the producer instead of helping recover from the initial tree loss.

SOLUTION:
Allow STCs to make an additional year extension, with documentation of an order and delivery date for the nursery stock.  This would give producers up to three years for delivery of the desired stock, if needed.

NATIONAL OFFICE RESPONSE:
DAFP policy regarding practice extensions is as stated in the TAP regulations (1416.407) and 1-TAP Handbook procedure (Par. 153).  Any individual case that the STC believes to have merit beyond the extended period would have to be sent in to DAFP for individual consideration. 

Programs Submission Response: TAP

ISSUE:
Is document CCC-899 timely filed?

FACTS:
Applicants who suffered eligible tree, brush and vine losses on or after January 1, 2015, must provide an application and supporting documentation to FSA within 90 calendar days of each disaster event or date when the loss is apparent to the producer.

SOLUTIONS:
If would be helpful if the TAP application process would mirror NAP somewhat and have a disaster beginning date and end date with no requirement of end date for those event such as greening, drought, etc., that appear ongoing. Right now we force the producer to put a disaster date on the application when it truly should be the date it was apparent.

NATIONAL OFFIC RESPONSE:
The changes you mention below would require a regulatory change (see below).  

§ 1416.405 Application.

(a) To apply for TAP, a producer that suffered eligible tree, bush, or vine losses that occurred:

(1) On or after October 1, 2011, through December 31, 2014, must provide an application for payment and supporting documentation to FSA by the later of January 31, 2015, or 90 calendar days after the disaster event or date when the loss is apparent to the producer.

(2) During the 2015 calendar year or later, must provide an application for payment and supporting documentation to FSA within 90 calendar days of the disaster event or date when the loss of trees, bushes, or vines is apparent to the producer.

The statutory language specifies:

(2) ELIGIBILITY.—

(A) LOSS.—Subject to subparagraph (B), for fiscal year 2012 and each succeeding fiscal year, the Secretary shall use such sums as are necessary of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide assistance—

(i) under paragraph (3) to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers that planted trees for commercial purposes but lost the trees as a result of a natural disaster, as determined by the Secretary; and

(ii) under paragraph (3)(B) to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers that have a production history for commercial purposes on planted or existing trees but lost the trees as a result of a natural disaster, as determined by the Secretary.

Losses due to plant disease differs from natural disaster because the time period between infection and symptom appearance can be from a few days to several years. In the case of plant disease, the 15% mortality threshold and normal mortality is cumulative (with DAFP approval). See subparagraph 31 C and D of 1-TAP.