Thursday, January 3, 2013

Crop Insurance Program Takes Drought Hit

Des Moines Register:
Losses to Iowa’s corn and soybean corps exceeded $1 billion during the drought and heat wave of 2012, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The losses are covered through federally-subsidized corp insurance. The federal government subsidizes about 57 percent of the insurance premiums for Iowa corn and soybean crops. Those payments were extended Tuesday by Congress as part of the Farm Bill extension running through next September.
Loss payments on corn for Iowa farmers totaled 157 percent of total premiums through Dec. 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday, as the bills mount for the historic drought and heat wave that struck the Corn Belt in 2012.
Iowa farmers were paid $933.6 million in loss claims on corn, more than the $627 million in premiums they paid. Of those premiums, $362 million were subsidized by the federal government.
Nationally, corn farmers lost 143 percent of their premiums, with claim payments totaling $6.149 billion compared to premiums of $4.3 billion. Subsidies for premiums totaled $2.674 billion.
On soybeans, Iowa claims totaled $158.9 million, or 62 percent of the $257 million paid in insurance premiums. Of those premiums, $147.1 million were subsidized by the federal government.
Nationally, $1.3 billion was paid in claims for soybean losses against $2.3 billion in premiums, $1.46 billion were federally-subsidized.

I am assuming these are just a partial summary of the numbers.  So far, farmers got paid $3.78 in claims for every dollar in crop insurance premiums paid by the farmers themselves (ourselves) for their corn crops.  On soybeans, farmers got $1.54 in claims for every dollar paid by farmers.  However, with the federal subsidy, there were only $0.57 paid out for every dollar paid in.  Without the feds, I would hate to know what similar private crop insurance would cost.

As for us, we should get a claim payment on our corn, but not on our beans.  I'll be interested to see if these are the final numbers, or just payments processed so far.

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