Claim payments to American farmers hit by the 2012 drought topped $3.5bn this week, according to the United States’ Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, journalstar.com reported on Saturday.
That includes more than $245m in compensation to Nebraska producers.
“This drought heavily affected spring-planted crops,” said Keith Collins, spokesman for National Crop Insurance Services.
By the time the dust clears, payments to holders of federally subsidized crop insurance policies are likely to go well beyond last year’s record of about $10.8bn nationally, Collins said.
He wasn’t willing to forecast a final number on behalf of his organization.
“But yes, we’ve seen estimates anywhere from $15 billion to $30bn.”
In Nebraska alone, according to federal crop insurance officials, those with a stake in crop production in 2012 bought almost 159,000 policies on about 15.6 million acres of land.
As one gauge of the level of participation, there are 18.17 million production acres in the state overall, including those where wild hay is harvested.
The total premium cost in the state of almost $667m included about $473m in taxpayer subsidies.
Two decades ago, farmers counted much more heavily on emergency disaster programs from federal lawmakers to help them survive weather extremes.
But more recently, higher subsidy rates and growing awareness about improvements in coverage, to include both yield and price protection, have made crop insurance the first line of defense against weather extremes.
In early November, Kansas is at the top of the chart in several crop insurance categories, including $448m in claims paid. One reason is that Kansas is the nation’s biggest producer of winter wheat, which is harvested earlier than spring-planted crops.
That means the pace of claim filing and paying is running ahead of Nebraska and other states farther north.
Veteran crop insurance agent Ruth Gerdes of Auburn , who insures customers in several states, said she is about 50 percent done with claims.
“Harvest was early,” she said, “and a lot of farmers have gotten their paperwork in, and we’ve been paying claims on a daily basis. So it’s flowing well.”
The taxpayer liability for the 2012 drought remains to be seen.
Collins said it would include about $6.9 billion in premium subsidies and about $1.3bn in operating costs.
“And then the question is what underwriting losses the government is going to bear.”
That question looms because the federal Treasury stands behind insurance companies to prevent them from being overwhelmed by claims exposure at times of widespread weather calamity.
Headlines Newsview all
A 35-year-old man, Yinka Offehin, is battling for his life at a private hospital in Lagos State after his scrotum was cut by the children ... Full story
Less than 7 days after the death of a Liberian Health Official who came to Nigeria for a conference, another case of Ebola infection has ... Full story
Rate this article
Controversial Nollywood actress, Anita Joseph, is not happy with people who accused her of intentionally exposing her body on social media. The well endowned actress who ... Full story
--and the most trending Nigerian celebrity topic on StumbleUpon.2014 is the year of the Nigeria Centenary and since Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates ...
My Dear Bros,I am tired of you whining about your girlfriend. What is it that you want? What are your expectations? She grew up in ...
Gentlemen of the Press,We are highly disturbed and disgusted by the recent information circulating in the media over alleged receipt of money by the leadership ...
Michael Stephens Ugochukwu better known as Ruggedman, has disclosed that he loves Chidinma, winner of MTN Project Fames season three.The rapper made this announcement while ...
Few weeks ago, after the 40 year old Liberian, Mr. Patrick Sawyer was quarantined after he arrived Lagos, Nigeria with symptoms of the Ebola virus ...
A selfie posted by Nollywood actor, IK Ogbonna, may have landed him trouble due to what looks like him placing his hand on the milk ...
A former staff of Wazobia FM, Matse, who later moved to Nigeria Info radio station in Lagos, but got fired afterwards, has showed off her ...
Sons of popular Yoruba actor, Femi Adebayo are marking their birthdays today, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The handsome son of veteran Nollywood actor, Adebayo Salami, ...
Recently, son of Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), Tomi Michael, got married to his sweetheart, Jeneba Kamara. The event held ...