SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. - (KNEP) - The Panhandle Research and Extension Center suggests farmers continue to tend to crops as they would with questions looming over crop insurance coverage.
A tunnel collapsed in the Gering-Fort Laramie Canal on July 17th (Source KNEP)
According to Jessica Groskopf questions remain about whether crop insurance will cover any losses stemming from the loss of irrigation water due to a tunnel collapse in the Gering-Fort Laramie Canal.
As it stands right now, several factors may have contributed to the collapse. According to the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, precipitation has been about 200 – 300% above normal for the past water year; which runs from October 1st, 2018 to present. With that said, the tunnel that collapsed was built in 1917 and even though the Bureau of Reclamation owns it, both Goshen Irrigation and Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation districts are responsible for operations and maintenance of the tunnel.
Crop insurance is a federal program through the USDA Risk Management Agency and the question remains: was the tunnel collapse an ‘unavoidable, naturally occurring event?’ If it is determined not to be such a case, then indemnity payment for crop loss wouldn’t be handed out.
Groskopf urges farmers to continue managing their crop as if water will return to the canal. Failure to do so may negate individual crop insurance coverage. Producers must have written permission from their insurance company to replant, abandon or destroy a crop.
For any other question the Extension Center advises producers to consult a crop insurance agent.