(West Lafayette, Ind.) - Indiana crop insurance payouts for losses during last year's drought have reached a record $1 billion.
According to the Associated Press, Purdue University said Tuesday that Indiana farmers have received the payouts for 2012 corn, soybean and wheat losses. The $1 billion mark is nearly twice as much as the previous record of $522 million in 2008.
Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt says the total will likely grow in the coming weeks as final claims are filed. He says the payouts are the primary reason Indiana's farm sector income has not collapsed under drought losses.
Indiana corn yields averaged 99 bushels per acre last year, or nearly 40 percent below normal.
Purdue says about 75% of Indiana crop acres were insured last year. Farmers wanting insurance for this year's crop must sign up for it by Friday.
The deadline to enroll in crop insurance for 2013 is Friday, March 15.
"Crop insurance can be a very effective tool in mitigating downside risk, often defined as the chance of having low returns, on crop farms," said Michael Langemeier, associate director of Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue.