The sign-up period for the 2009 crop year Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program has opened. Farmers and ranchers interested in signing up must do so before July 29, 2011.

SURE is one of five disaster programs included in the 2008 farm bill that provides assistance to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to natural disasters.

"SURE is part of the safety net that assists farmers and ranchers who provide food and fiber to America and the world," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Any eligible producer who suffered losses during the 2009 crop year is encouraged to visit a local FSA office to learn more about the SURE program and how to apply."

To be eligible for SURE a farm or ranch must have:

  • At least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance.
  • A policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for all economically significant crops.
  • Been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the Agriculture Secretary under a Secretarial Disaster Designation. Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster.

Producers considered socially disadvantaged, a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without a policy or plan of insurance or NAP coverage.