Corn farmers who chose to pay more to insure their crops at harvest prices have gotten some welcome news from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Farmers who bought the more expensive crop insurance option last spring will earn $7.50 per bushel of corn, a price that should make many of them happy after months of watching their fields wither in this summer’s record drought.
The announcement will be particularly welcomed by corn farmers in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, the nation’s three largest corn producers, respectively, which were all hit hard by the drought.
The harvest price payout for soybeans will be $15.39 per bushel, the Des Moines Register also reported in its Saturday edition.
Farmers who elected to be covered by the less expensive non-harvest price coverage will receive the $5.68 per bushel for corn and $12.55 per bushel for soybeans. Those prices were set in March at the time of insurance sign-up.
USDA figures show crop-loss insurance payments through Oct. 29 totaled $3.5 billion nationally, including $1.63 billion for corn and $247.6 million for soybeans.
Federal subsidies for U.S. crop insurance premiums this year total $6.9 billion, which is 62 percent of the $11.03 billion in premiums paid to insure all 2012 crops, the newspaper reported.
Farmers customarily buy coverage for about 75 percent of their crops. Crop insurance will cover much of the loss in yields caused by this year’s record drought. Estimates put the losses at 15 percent or more.
The higher harvest price set in recent days by the USDA reflects the increased prices for corn and soybeans since March as the drought this summer cut as much as 4 billion bushels from the U.S. corn crop.
On Oct. 2, corn closed down 12 cents per bushel to $7.39, while soybeans were down 31 cents per bushel to $15.27.