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Serving: United States

USDA Eases Drought Damage Inspection Rules

Farmers can select sample strips without adjuster inspection.

USDA's Risk Management Agency is relaxing one of its rules to help farmers with crop insurance deal with expected losses due to drought conditions. RMA has given crop insurance adjusters the authority to grant farmers permission to select yield sample strips of crops for insurance purposes without the adjuster's inspection.

Drought conditions have caused crop losses on thousands of farms in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic. "It would be unrealistic to expect insurance adjusters to physically visit all of those farms in a timely manner," notes Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer.

Under existing rules, an insurance adjuster would visit the farm and select the representative crop sample areas to be left in the field before the remainder of the crop could be harvested. Now, the adjuster can issue that authority to a farmer with a telephone call.

"The decision is especially helpful to corn producers who need to cut their corn now to salvage the energy in the corn for silage. If they had to wait an extra week or the customary 15 days it takes for an adjuster to visit the property, the crop could be completely useless," adds Shaffer.

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