The drought of 1988, often cited as the benchmark for crop damage, will likely be surpassed this summer, according to a crop insurance claims representative.Steve Worthington, who oversees crop claims for Country Financial in Bloomington, predicts crop damage nationally this summer will top the $40 billion in losses that farmers took during the 1988 drought.
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“It’s my opinion and I think (the opinion of) several others that this is going to be at least on a dollar basis much worse than it was in 1988,” Worthington said.
Worthington said his office, which covers much of Central Illinois, has already received more than 1,800 claims for corn and soybean losses, and more are coming in each day.
Worthington said given the expected number and severity of claims, farmers reporting losses of $200,000 or more can expect an audit by the federal government, in which the claimant will have to document the amount. “It doesn’t take long anymore to hit $200,000 when you are talking about the type of losses that are out there,” Worthington said.
“It could be a large number of these (claims), which could be a real burden on the producers and as far as we’re concerned, the companies in trying to get this process done,” Worthington said.