Illinois farmers, as well as farmers all over the U.S., are experiencing severe drought conditions. This crop failure at the hands of Mother Nature could not be controlled or planned for at the beginning of the growing season. Though emotions are running high and though grain and livestock farmers are becoming more concerned at the productivity of the crops, the 2012 growing season does present a first-hand experience of why quality risk management programs for farmers are necessary.
The Illinois Corn Growers Association is lobbying for a Farm Bill in Washington, D.C. this week, explaining to your elected officials that you need crop insurance and revenue based safety nets to protect you in times like these.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board invested your check off dollars in research, yielding programs like the Yield Trend Endorsement which provided you more crop insurance coverage for an incrementally lower price.
The drought this year will only help prove to lawmakers and U.S. citizens that programs like these to help keep farmers in business during treacherous times are vital and valid federal programs.
According to Brian Frieden, director of USDA’s Risk Management Agency regional office in Springfield, crop insurance claims are already beginning to trickle in to agents.
He says RMA already anticipates this year being one with a lot of claims. “We want producers to understand that money will be available and in fact claims are being paid now and they will be paid as timely as possible” Frieden says.
The drought this year will be painful for farmers, financially and emotionally as they watch their spring investment in inputs and labor burn up at the hand of Mother Nature’s extreme heat and lack of rain. But the lesson about the value of crop insurance and risk management programs will be tremendous.
Farmers, don’t forget about the silver lining.