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August 02, 2012 09:54 PM

Insurance Adjusters Heading Into Farm Fields

Parkston, SD

Crop insurance adjusters will soon be fanning-out into farm fields to check on the damage done by the drought. 

The lack of rain this summer will lead to a blizzard of paperwork for insurance companies.

Silage is piling up in South Dakota fields where the corn crop is dwindling from the drought.

"Just trying to pile some feed up so got feed for this winter, that's about it, just trying to salvage what we can," Clayton farmer Doug Werning said.

Stalks that have gone too long without rain are keeling over in the heat.

"We're getting to the point where we're trying to find some fields where we can actually cut because it's fallen down and you can't cut it anymore," Werning said.

Bart Laber of Maxwell & Bowar Insurance Agency has been fielding insurance claims for the past two weeks.

"This particular spot here in the field is a total loss, it's starting to break over from a lack of moisture," Laber said.

Roughly every 20 acres or so, farmers who've already cut their corn still have to leave a few rows standing.  They're called "check strips" and they allow crop insurance adjusters to check on the damage.

"As you can see in this particular field, there probably isn't going to be much of a yield, if anything here," Laber said.

Hopes of a bumper crop this spring have been dashed by the drought this summer.

"Get the rent paid and survive for another winter, but it's not good, it's really looking tough," Werning said.

"We've got to get these guys through this because everybody likes to eat and if we can keep the American farmer going, that's the number one thing," Laber said.

Farmers who file claims would recoup their production costs, essentially breaking even.

Laber says once the adjuster appraises a field, the farmer can expect a check from the insurance company in about two weeks.

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