Agriculture Department officials expect farmers to file more than $1 billion in insurance claims for acreage they were unable to plant due to the succession of storms across the Midwest and Mississippi River valley this spring.

Bill Northey, USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation, said prevented planting acres have reached as high as 10 million in the past and that claims this year “could easily exceed that high range.”

As of Monday, the Risk Management Agency has paid roughly $151 million in prevent plant claims related to excess moisture and flooding for this crop year, a $39 million increase from the week before. “We expect that to certainly, pass the $1 billion-dollar mark if you look at the acres in the prevent plant area,” said Northey.

RMA’s chief of staff, Keith Gray, said most claims are coming from the upper Midwest and along the Mississippi River.

“Those river basins that have been in the flooding areas, are where a large majority of prevent plant claims that we’re seeing,” Gray said.

Gray expects to have a better picture on the amount of claims to be filed by the end of this month.

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Source: AgriMarketing