INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Friday, there was standing water and mud in all over Shelby County fields. The air is sticky, the ground is muddy, and the crops are not growing like they should be at this time of year.
Anngie Steinburger and her husband have been farming for the better part of 20 years. Both of them have off-farm incomes: He drives a school bus, and she is a crop insurance claims specialist, a godsend for many of her neighbors.
“So, crop insurance just spreads your risk out. It is just a risk management tool that a lot of farmers have to use,” said Steinburger.
The Steinburgers rent about two-thirds of the land they farm, and rent is due even if the crops fail.
“It is the difference between your livelihood and not having that livelihood. Crop insurance allows you to survive,” she said.
This year, the Steinburgers have planted all of their land. In a few areas, they had to replant. Some of their neighbors haven’t been so lucky.
“Never I have ever made money on crop insurance, but it has enabled me to maintain my cash flow and that was the whole idea. I have friends, family that didn’t get anything planted, and I just can’t imagine what they are going to do if they didn’t have crop insurance. Then, would they farm the next year? Because they wouldn’t have any money to do that,” said Steinburger.
Even if the ground dries up right away after heavy rains and flooding, the crops in the ground are damaged, according to Steinburger.
The corn in the Steinburgers’ field should be 3 feet tall by now. They are hoping for — as the old saying goes — knee-high by the 4th of July.
There is no shopping around for crop insurance. The rates are set depending on where you live. The amount of coverage depends on how much risk you are willing to assume.
To learn more about the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, click here.