Unremitting heat continues to such the life out of Missouri’s crops. A University of Missouri economist hopes farmers who have seen their prospects for a crop evaporate avoid more problems by taking an important step.
Federal crop insurance can be a life-saver for farmers who’ve watched their corn crop dissipate. But economist Ray Massey worries some farmers endanger the insurance protections if they take action too soon. Massey hopes farmers don’t turn their corn into sileage before their crop insurance adjuste sees it and evaluates the damage. After the assessment, the farmer can harvest the ruined crop and, if he wishes, try to grow a second crop, probably beans, maybe wheat. If they do that, though, about two-thirds of their insurance payment is withheld until the second crop comes in—if one comes in in Missouri this year. Massey says farmers with a second failed crop this year cannot get insurance payments on both crops. If the second crop succeeds, the farmer gets the payment for the lost first crop and keeps what he makes on the more successful second one.
Crop insurance has played a major role in the lives of thousands of Missouri farmers in the last couple of years. A lot of farmers in northwest and southeast Missouri that saw fields turn to mud last year are seeing them turn to dust this year. Some southwest Missouri farmers are in their second striaght drought year. Massey says crop insurance won’t make farmers whole, but it does give farmers a chance for another season.