From floods to wildfires, Mother Nature is taking her toll during this harvest season, which initially got off to an early start for many and was forecast to be warm and dry.
In the upper Midwest, severe storms dumped as much as 8" of rain in one day and strong winds buffeted standing corn. Consider this report from past Top Producer of the Year finalist Pat Duncanson of Mapleton, Minn.: "Lots of water. 8+ inches since yesterday afternoon. This is a shot of our driveway. It hasn’t been under water since being reconstructed in the 1960s. We are using a tractor to get through as the water is too deep for pickups. Maple River School classes were let out early today due to high and rising water. I don’t think crops will be damaged significantly if it stops raining and we can resume harvest in a week. Our early start to harvest is a muddy memory."
Elsewhere, fields are literally going up in smoke; wildfires are not confined to the Southwest! Posts on AgWeb’s crop discussion board reflect such fires in central Indiana.
Federal crop insurance covers fires caused by nature; not those caused by humans, says Pat Engel, Risk Management Agency spokesperson. "If you call your agent to make a claim, the first thing they will do is send an adjustor who will try to figure out where it started and what the cause was," she says, cautioning that RMA will use Geographic Information System (GIS) access and weather records to help determine whether a natural cause such as lightening could be blamed.