Florida Citrus Mutual is thankful U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently unveiled additional details about the Florida Citrus Irma Relief Package. We now know the package will total $465 million and will include the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) at $125 million and a block grant program at $340 million.
WHIP will be administered by the USDA-FSA local offices while the block grants will be distributed by the State of Florida. WHIP will be the first program in the pipeline and Perdue has said it must be in place by July 16. Although the application process has not been detailed we expect more information soon. All growers seeking relief payments will have to apply for WHIP. The program has a payments cap of $900,000. The WHIP information will be used to provide a foundation for the block grant program. The block grant program will not have AGI limits and the payment cap structure is now being determined.
FCM is working hard with the USDA and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service to craft additional details of each program. Please know all entities understand the importance in getting the relief funding to growers as soon as possible.