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 couple based in Texas, USA, Mr and Mrs Don and Nkem Okoro who were in Nigeria for vacation and to attend a burial of ... Full story
Charly Boy talks about how the many creative, progressive and hardworking Nigerians are ruled by a few riffraffs, scumbags, fraudsters and scavengers. He also says ... Full story
Rate this article
- Nigerians Must Vote Wiselyâ€”Buhariâ€™s Running Mate, Prof. Osinbajo
- FG collaborates to launch Pneumonia vaccine
- 2015: We are not perfect – PDP
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was recently announced as running mate to presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, is indeed not just ...
Newly-wed Nollywood actress and president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ibinabo Fiberisima Egbuka, is to be formerly received by her husband’s family and ...
No longer able to condone her husband's alleged acts of infidelity, which has also made her a carrier of the dreaded Human Immune Virus (HIV), ...
It would be recalled that beautiful Nollywood actress and also Cool FM's On Air Personality, Destiny Amaka De Souza once told Nigeriafilms.com that she is ...
According to reports, wife of a talented Nigerian artist, Zinno Orara, Adaora, is dead. The woman was said to have died few hours ago after ...
She's pretty, talented, sexy and easy going. Nigerian music sensation, Niyola, came under the spotlight after her popular song and video directed by Kemi Adetiba, ...
Edo State-born actress, Ruth Kadiri, who debuted in Nollywood in ‘Sincerity’, a movie she also wrote, in recent times, has upped her game in the ...
Rukkayat Sanda is indeed a beauty to behold. And this is not just because she has the looks, but she also has a fashion sense ...
After losing out at her party’s primaries in a bid to contest for a seat in the Federal House of Representatives in the 2015 election, ...
"Ladies no longer want love and romance. All they want are material things! Money! Money! Money! The other day, I took one out for a ...