According to the U.S. Drought Monitor map released last week – 62-percent of the U.S. is still in some level of drought and 24-percent is now in extreme or exceptional drought. The core of the drought remains over the Corn Belt. Due to the extreme heat – so far this year the corn harvest is at least three weeks early – with USDA reporting four-percent is complete compared to one-percent normally at this time. In Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee – harvest is even further along – with 17-percent complete in Kansas and 18-percent complete in Missouri and Tennessee. Still – production is expected to be the lowest since 2006 and expected yield averages are lower than anticipated – at nearly 123-bushels per acre – after farmers planted 96.4-million acres of corn – the most in the past 75-years.
National Crop Insurance Services President Tom Zacharias says the vast majority of farms in drought areas are protected by crop insurance. He says the crop insurance industry is on the ground in those areas – mobilizing loss-adjuster teams. Zacharias says farmers can be assured their claims will be paid – as the companies will move as quickly and efficiently as possible to assess damages and get indemnity checks to farmers in a timely fashion.