The National Crop Insurance Services on Wednesday released a new video examining the impacts of the 2012 drought and how crop insurers and adjusters are working to mitigate those impacts.
"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 the new video.
The video explains the 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," Bousselot says.
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, Ill.
Bousselot notes that many adjusters have also farmed, and thus understand the pinch farmers find themselves in when Mother Nature strikes.
"Getting the money back to them in the quickest way we can is the service we provide," he adds.
Robert Geddes, a farmer from Hoopeston, Ill., 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 says. "If you miss a crop, things will go downhill for a farmer in a hurry," he adds.
As lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. next month, NCIS supports the efficiency of the private sector delivery system, and during congressional hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill urged Congress to protect crop insurance.