WASHINGTON Feb 11 U.S. corn farmers collected
two-thirds of the record $14.2 billion in crop insurance
indemnities paid so far for losses due to drought and other bad
weather in 2012, the government said on Monday.
In a weekly summary, the Agriculture Department said corn
growers had received $9.27 billion through the federally
subsidized program, far more than the $1.85 billion sent to
soybean farmers, the second-largest crop total.
Illinois was the leading state for indemnities with a total
of $2.34 billion, followed by Iowa at $1.73 billion. Iowa and
Illinois are the two leading corn-producing states. The total
for payments, $14.2 billion, was $550 million from the preceding
Over the weekend, the farm policy group AGree called on
Congress to require farmers to practice soil conservation in
order to qualify for crop insurance subsidies. At present,
so-called conservation compliance is tied to crop subsidies.
Record-high commodity prices have made crop insurance the
largest element of the farm safety net and made traditional
The Senate voted last year to tie crop insurance to soil
conservation and to require the wealthiest farmers to pay a
larger share of the premium. Both measures died at the end of
The government pays 62 cents of each $1 of the premium.
USDA issued the summary at the same time that trade groups
for the crop insurance industry held winter meetings in
Indemnities may total as much as $20 billion - nearly double
the record $10.8 billion paid on 2011 crops - analysts say.
Insurers, who collected $11 billion in premiums on 2012 crops,
face the first money-losing year in a decade.
Some 85 percent of eligible land, or 281 million acres, was
covered by crop insurance in 2012, setting a high for coverage.
(Reporting by Charles Abbott, editing by Gary Crosse)