The USDA has notified the Georgia Farm Service Agency that the 1999 Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for yields have been modified to better reflect actual hay losses for Georgia farmers.

Based upon the information FSA provided, USDA has modified the 1999 NAP yield for hybrid bermudagrass hay from 2.6 tons per acre to 5.3 tons per acre. As a result of the new yield findings, all NAP area loss calculations and NAP payments impacted by the change must be recalculated and approved by FSA.

“Georgia Farm Bureau was very concerned about the low yield that USDA originally was using to calculate assistance payments for Georgia bermudagrass hay producers. After suffering through several years of drought conditions, our farmers need all of the help they can get to stay in business,” says Wayne Dollar, Georgia Farm Bureau president.

“USDA originally used a yield of 2.6 tons per acre, which was derived from data provided by the National Agricultural Statistics Service based on all hay yields,” explained Teresa Lasseter, Georgia FSA executive director. “Our office contended that the NASS data was not a true reflection of the average production potential of hybrid bermuda hay, and we provided USDA with documentation of yield based on trials conducted by the University of Georgia.”

County FSA offices were notified of the amended yields and will be making adjusted payments, says Clark Weaver, Georgia FSA state program chief.

“These changes also impact 2000 Crop Disaster Payments,” says Lasseter. “These 1999 NAP yields must be used to update the 2000 crop table. Any CDP applications affected by crop table changes must be updated, and any additional payments issued and overpayments collected.”