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Drought and wildfires: the costliest disasters for crop farmers in 2021

New analysis by American Farm Bureau finds natural disasters in 2021 cost more than $12.5 billion in crop and forage losses.

Ag economist Danny Munch tells Brownfield drought and wildfires across the U.S. caused the greatest damage to cropland last year and accounted for nearly 80 percent of all damages.

“Or about $8 billion in crop losses,” he says.

Munch says more than $6.5 billion in losses were not covered by existing Risk Management Agency programs which could be covered by the reauthorized Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program + or WHIP+, but…

“WHIP applications still haven’t opened for 2020 and 2021 so farmers and ranchers are still waiting for those disaster assistance funds to come in,” he says.

North Dakota faced the largest crop losses last year because of persistent and extreme drought, followed by Texas, and South Dakota.  

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