By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor
Boone County —
A historic drought caused more than $24.7 million damage to Boone County crops last year, according to an environmental organization that reviewed federal crop insurance records.
Boone and every other Indiana county were declared federal disaster areas because of the 2012 drought.
Federal crop insurance payments to Boone farmers for drought alone were nearly $24.8 million, the National Resources Defense Council said in a press release.
Another $1.076 million was paid for damage resulting from heat, the NRDC said.
Indiana’s total crop loss from the 2012 drought was the fourth-highest in the nation, the NRDC said in a news release.
Payouts of more than $17.3 billion in crop losses in 2012 broke the previous record of $10.8 billion set in 2011, a result of drought and extensive flooding.
Corn was planted on just more than 51 percent of Boone County’s 197,843 acres last year, the NRDC said. Soybeans dominated the rest of the acreage planted, with only 2,400 acres planted in wheat.
Hoosier farmers received $1.153 billion in crop insurance payments, the organization said. It based its data on the USDA Risk Management Agency’s “Cause of Loss Historical Data Files, 2012” and a 2012 National Agricultural Statistics Service field survey of U.S. field crops.
Other claims were paid for damage caused by “excess moisture, precipitation or rain,” ($27,687); cold wet weather ($9,225); and snow, lightning or other causes ($13,259).
See Thursday's Lebanon Reporter for more on this story.