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Kentucky Farmers Will Need Crop Insurance This Year

Even while the federal government predicts record profits for U.S. farmers this year, Kentucky will see some of the worst corn yields in the country, meaning farmers in the state will still need federally subsidized crop insurance to stay in business...
October 4, 2012

Even while the federal government predicts record profits for U.S. farmers this year, Kentucky will see some of the worst corn yields in the country, meaning farmers in the state will still need federally subsidized crop insurance to stay in business. The state is slated to receive more insurance benefits this year than it did in 2010 when farmers received a record $137.6 million in breaks, but this year's drought has been so devastating to the state's corn crop that farmers have very little to sell to take advantage of the steep prices. One economist estimates that at around 70 bushels per acre, Kentucky's projected corn yields are the worst among the significant corn producing states and just more than half the national average.

Eddie Hobbs, a 57-year-old farmer who lives in Vine Grove has been farming since high school, says crop insurance will help him stay in business.

“If I hadn’t had crop insurance, I might be able to make it a year or so ... but it wouldn’t be very long,” he said. As a veteran farmer, Hobbs doesn’t have much debt, allowing him to stretch the crop insurance benefits further. Without crop insurance, which covers him for about three-fourths of what he expected to produce, Hobbs said he’d face huge losses.

A spokeswoman for National Crop Insurance Services, a not-for-profit that represents private insurance companies, said it’s still too early to estimate how much will be paid this year. The crop insurance group says payments last year exceeded $10 billion because of drought, freezes in Florida and flooding on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

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