LOCAL FOOTBALL SCORING UPDATES PRESENTED BY THE HUNGRY HOBO:

Federal government lost billions on 2012 crop insurance payouts


Share
Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2013, 7:21 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Tyler Langan
The Federal Crop Insurance Program paid farmers a record-breaking $17.4 billion for crop losses last year after the biggest drought in 25 years.

Illinois had the highest percentage of crop loss in 2012, totaling nearly $3 billion in federal aid to farmers. Iowa received about $2 billion.

Farmers who participate in the Federal Crop Insurance Program buy policies from private insurance companies, but the policies are subsidized by the federal government. The U.S. had about $8.4 billion in crop insurance subsidies for 2012, according to Claire O'Connor, an agricultural analyst at the National Resources Defense Council.

The 2012 payout more than quadrupled the yearly amount paid from 2001 to 2010, which averaged $4.1 billion per year, according to an NRDC news release.

Ms. O'Connor said the NRDC plans to talk with the Risk Management Agency at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to propose incentives for safer farming practices such as no-till planting and planting cover crops to make soil healthier and allow crops to better withstand adverse weather.

"There are practices we know that can reduce losses to crops," she said. "We know that healthy soil can be an extremely effective insurance policy that prevents this scale of loss."

Safer farming practices, Ms. O'Connor said, will benefit taxpayers, farmers and the environment.

For every dollar the government spent on crop insurance policies in Illinois, they lost $4.53, according to USDA data. Iowa had the third highest percentage of crop loss and lost $2.23 on the dollar.

"Most years are pretty decent years," a USDA spokeswoman said. "There are just some years whenthings go badly."

The last couple of years really show why it's important to help farmers prepare for the weather challenges they're facing," Ms. O'Connor said. "We can't control the weather, but we can give farmers the tools they need to be resilient in the face of these challenges."

Locally, Henry County farmers received the most insurance payouts at $36.3 million. Rock Island County farmers received $4 million and Mercer County farmers received $3 million, according to NRDC data. Scott County farmers were paid $12.2 million.



















 



Local events heading








  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






(More History)