HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) The summer heat wave that baked farmland from Topeka, Kan., to Columbia, Ga., has left farmers scrambling to fill out crop insurance claims.
In the Tennessee Valley, hundreds of farmers suffered the effects of the summer heat and lack of moisture earlier in the year. 90 percent of them are entered into the federal crop insurance program. Seven billion dollars a year are set aside to aid farmers when they are hit hard by mother nature. This drought in particular has hit corn and cotton farmers hardest.
Steve Tate runs a farm in Meridianville, but he also writes crop insurance policies, including his own.
“This is a high stakes game, I don’t care whether you have 200 or 2,000 (acres) you are at the mercy of the weather,” Tate told WHNT News 19 while walking through his corn fields Thursday afternoon.
“You purchase the policy long before you see these weather events coming in, so you may have a policy for seven or eight years with nothing and then you may have a catastrophic year like this year,” Tate added.
The insurance will provide enough support for most farmers to cover their costs and at least get ready for next season. At the nation’s capital, legislators in the house and senate are working on new forms of the farm bill. Experts say the bill will likely not change the crop insurance policy which means farmers will still have access to the safety net.