2008 Losses Lead to Record Insurance Payments to Midwest Farmers

July 22, 2009

The National Crop Insurance Services trade group says a record $8.6 billion in crop insurance indemnity payments has been made to U.S. farmers for crop losses in 2008, and a lot of that money went to farmers in the Midwest. That number is expected to rise as more losses are finalized.

The nonprofit industry trade association says the payments were for losses due to drought and flooding, along with substantial price declines for some major crops.

“All losses haven’t been paid yet either,” said Bob Parkerson, president of NCIS, which is based in Kansas City. “There are still many losses yet to be finalized by the companies, and GRIP payments won’t be made until RMA approves the county yields for those policies, which doesn’t usually happen until April.”

Most of the insurance payments come from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves, the NCIS says.

Of the Midwestern states receiving crop insurance payouts, Iowa led the way with $1.1 billion. Payments to other states in the Midwest include:

  • $842 million, North Dakota
  • $691 million, Minnesota
  • $569 million, Illinois
  • $524 million, Indiana
  • $522 million, Ohio
  • $414 million, Nebraska
  • $411 million, Kansas
  • $400 million, South Dakota.

Of the non-Midwestern states receiving large crop insurance payments for 2008 losses, Texas received $766 million.

Sources: Associated Press; National Crop Insurance Services, www.ag-risk.org

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