If your corn is looking good, you've walked fields and you've got 150 bushels per acre plus on the way, then this article may not interest you. About all you'll gain fm it is the knowledge to feed into your marketing process that many parts of the Corn Belt are in desperate shape.
However, if part or all of your crop isn't up to par, or there isn't any crop in some places period, then you may be inclined to read more carefully. With the first of August approaching, and some corn already chopped off, other fields having no ears except in poorly drained soils, and some literally dying, the reality is that this will go down as one of the worst droughts in quite a while.
What that means in real terms are yields at levels you probably never thought possible. When the University of Illinois is publishing news releases quoting Extension specialist Emerson Nafziger, talking about fields in central Illinois with very low yields, you know it's a bad one.
Indiana is likely the epicenter of the drought. Several counties in southwest and west-central Indiana are now in the exceptional drought status according to the U.S. drought monitor. Ken Scheeringa, a climatologist in Indiana, says drought like that happens only about once every 50 years.
Some farmers are still thinking about chopping corn. Others who don't have livestock have figured out that if their corn is bad without much grain, the silage won't be very valuable either, and that may not be an effective solution. Now some are even asking about making soybean hay. The soybeans linger on, but without rain, their days are numbered as well.
What farmers are now turning to is a closer look at their insurance policies. Exactly how much coverage do they have? How do they go about filing claims? When do they file? When can they expect payment?
Crop insurance agents for at least one company say they will work hard to responds within 24 hours of receiving a claim, but that's just to acknowledge that they have the claim. With desks piling up with claim reports, it will take adjustors a while to sort through their workload. If there is a hitch, such as a difference between acreage on your crop insurance reports and FSA documents, then that will take agents and adjustors longer to sort out. They may opt to deal with it later once smooth-sailing claims are field and paid.
It's become a tough season Corn Belt wide, and this one is likely to have long tails. Sorting through crop insurance regulations to get payment may just be one of those tails.