Farmers file insurance claims amidst continual flooding

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MOULTRIE COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Continual flooding this year is causing some farmers to file insurance claims because they can’t plant.

It’s been an ongoing struggle for farmers and the weather keeps getting worse. For most, crunch time has come and gone. Some are taking the hard way out.

It’s weeks past the normal time to plant. There are a select amount of farmers who filed insurance claims. Recently some were out in the fields still trying to get seed laid down. But continual flooding has made that impossible for others, leaving them with limited options.

A rough planting season is an understatement for Illinois farmers. Evan DeLucia is the director of the UI Institute for Sustainability Energy and Environment department. He says, “We still have a lot of fields that are not planted and those that are planted are under water.”

Heavy prolonged rain delayed planting. Many farmers chose to risk it and plant anyway. Others filed prevent plant insurance claims.

Doug Yoder is the crop agency manager at Country Farm Financial. He says, “I’ve talked to countless farmers that have a lot of experience, have been around a long time, and this is the first time in their lifetime of dealing with it to this extent.”

He has been helping farmers through this process. Yoder says, “We’re looking at potentially record setting numbers for prevent plant claims and record number of acres not being able to be planted. We won’t know for sure because around here that key date for corn is June 5th. So after that, they could file a preventative planting claim but they could still plant corn after that if weather cooperates.”

For those who did plant, it’s still a waiting game to see how much yield farmers will get. DeLucia says, “Pest and pathogen load can increase when you have a wet year like this. That’ll play out over the next coming weeks to see what kind of challenges that’s going to present to farmers.”

Most farmers pay for insurance with the hope to never have to use it. This time around, that’s not the case for some. Of course, insurance won’t pay out the amount of money they would normally get from a successful harvest.

Yoder says, “What the corn policy provides is 55% of the original guarantee. That’s not a money making proposition for farmers. They will not make a profit on that. It’s just intended to partially offset the some of the expenses they’ve already incurred.”

We won’t know the exact numbers of how many claims will go through until the July 15th acreage reporting deadline. That’s the timeline the government set for farmers to report how much they actually planted.

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