January 28, 2020

New Video Highlights Role Adjusters Play in Drought Relief

A news release today from National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) indicated that, “‘Some of the same people who had to deal with the floods last year along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are now dealing with the opposite – extreme drought,’ says Calamus, Iowa, claims supervisor David Bousselot, in a new NCIS video released today (available below).

“The video highlights the critical role that many of the 5,000 claims adjusters play in helping farmers pick up the pieces after the worst drought in decades, with $3 billion already in the hands of farmers. ‘The adjuster is the connection with the producer,’ says Bousselot.

“Throughout most of the summer, more than 60 percent of the continental U.S. was locked in drought, which sent corn and soybean yields plummeting. ‘I think it was a combination of the lack of moisture and the heat we had in early July that just cooked the corn,’ says claims adjuster Tim Totherot of Wellington, Illinois.”

The NCIS release added that, “Robert Geddes, a farmer from Hoopeston, Illinois, explains that after he experienced his first drought as a farmer, he had a chat with a local adjuster and has been purchasing crop insurance ever since. ‘It’s in the nasty years like this that it really helps,’ he said. ‘If you miss a crop, things will go downhill for a farmer in a hurry,’ he added.”


Farm Bill; Biofuels; Budget Issues; and, CFTC

Farm Bill- Policy Issues, Political Notes

Dan Piller reported in yesterday’s Des Moines Register that, “U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Monday that a link between federal crop insurance and conservation compliance ‘just isn’t going to happen’ in any new farm bill to be debated after the November election.

“‘I’ve talked with the (congressional) leadership and members, and there just isn’t support for it,’ Vilsack said of proposals to make conservation and environmental rules compliance mandatory for farmers to qualify for federally subsidized crop insurance.”

Mr. Piller noted that, “Vilsack, meeting with Des Moines Register editors, said the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives has deliberately bottled up the farm bill so it can impose reductions in farm programs deeper than the $23 billion taken in the Senate bill.

“The conservation question has hung over the bill because the likely end of federal direct payments to farmers, which contained the conservation lever, would leave the USDA and other federal agencies without the force of law. The crop insurance section in the farm bill hasn’t had a conservation compliance requirement since 1996.

“‘The feeling is that some type of voluntary, incentive-based conservation system would work just as well,’ said Vilsack.”