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While crop insurance covered nearly $560 million of the losses, farmers had to pay another $243 million out of pocket.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the derecho’s damages totaled $11.5 billion, making the event the most costly thunderstorm in U.S. history.
Why This Matters: Natural disasters are incredibly costly, particularly for farmers. Last year, natural disasters caused $6.5 billion in damage to crops, pasture, and rangeland. In total, damage from natural disasters — from hurricanes and wildfires to drought and tornadoes— cost $99 billion, making 2020 the fourth-most expensive year of natural disasters since 1980, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported.
With this year’s drought pummeling the West, it could be another dismal and costly year for our nation’s farmers. And currently, the Midwest is bracing for another derecho.
The Cost of Drying Out America’s Farmland: The damages to Iowa’s corn, soybeans, and other crops reached $490.8 million as a result of the derecho, and $308.2 million as a result of the drought. In addition to 6 million acres of farmland the storm destroyed, the derecho also battered farm equipment and livestock, damage that wasn’t accounted for in these latest estimates.
Luckily, the federal government covered many of these losses through crop insurance, but farmers still had to pick up much of the slack. Federal crop insurance covered $2.9 billion in losses from last year’s growing season, leaving farmers to cover $3.6 billion of the damages — in Iowa, farmers had to cover $147.5 million in costs from the derecho and $93.7 million from the drought.
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By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer With drought continuing in the West, and the summer’s historic floods throughout Europe, the world is wondering how climate change will also affect the way we eat. This controversial question was addressed by agriculture experts, NGOs, government officials, and corporate leaders at Peas, Trees, and 1.5 Degrees, a Climate […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In the lead-up to today’s United Nations Food Systems Summit, young activists spoke about their priorities for the global gathering at yesterday’s Food is the Future event. At the event, youth representatives from worldwide interviewed adult peers in the world of food system work. In an effort to […]
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