(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — As the House Agriculture Committee wraps up its hearings and the Senate Farm Bill moves closer to the floor for debate, National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) today released the third in an ongoing series of educational videos on crop insurance. This new video spotlights the Missouri river flooding of 2011 – a months-long flooding event – that brought historic damage and destruction to farms in several states.
The video, titled “2011 Midwest Case Study,” contains an overview of the record flooding by NCIS President Tom Zacharias, highlighting the extended duration of the flood and the destruction it inflicted to America’s breadbasket. Additionally, Ruth Gerdes, a farmer and crop insurance agent from Auburn, Nebraska, who had several clients whose farms were totally destroyed, gives some insight into the human side of the event and explains how farmers were able to bounce back and resume crop production the next year.
Ruth Gerdes described 2011 as a “year that I will never forget,” describing how she felt watching grain bins being crushed “like aluminum cans” as the waters overwhelmed the levees and crushed everything in their path. Gerdes explained that she had 39 clients who not only lost their crops, but their homes, their farmsteads and their grain bins. “One of the most exciting things for me was having those farmers on the coverage that allowed them to survive,” she said, noting that farmers who lost their crops in the flooding often had their indemnity payments in hand within two weeks.
Gerdes explained that what really amazed her was that after observing firsthand the record damage of 2011, to see farmers she knew return to the same fields today and see the tremendous effort those farmers had made to restore that land to the best shape possible. “Strong crop insurance is what has allowed those farmers to do all of the conservation needed in order for us to plant a crop in 2012,” she said.
2011 crop insurance indemnities have surpassed $10.7 billion and continue to rise. Zacharias noted that “testimonials like the ones in this video series provide undeniable evidence that crop insurance is a public-private partnership that not only helps farmers get back on their feet but also shoulders taxpayers from the burdens of natural disasters.”