Crop Insurance Today First Quarter 2023 - 5

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A Century of Crop Research
and Loss Procedure Development
By Dr. James Houx, NCIS
2023 marks 100 years since the first crop insurance
industry-sponsored agricultural research
project. At the turn of the last century, crop loss
adjustment procedures were mostly based on
adjuster knowledge and anecdotal evidence of
what others had experienced. Forward thinking
industry leaders understood the need for a research-based
approach to adjusting crop losses
and so the crop insurance industry embarked on
what is now a century of progress to develop fair
and accurate loss adjustment methods. During
the last 100 years, National Crop Insurance Services
(NCIS) and its predecessor organizations
have conducted more than 400 research projects
in 35 states resulting in the development and refinement
of Crop-Hail loss instructions for 54
crops ranging from alfalfa to wild rice.
In the Beginning
The first crop insurance industry-sponsored
project was initiated at Clemson University on
American Upland Cotton (AUP) cotton. At the
time, researchers and extension agents were
trying to grasp how best to grow cotton so the
Clemson research project, and the research initiated
the following year at Alabama Polytechnic
Institute, were focused on planting dates and row
spacing. A few years later the hail insurance industry's
focus shifted to corn. Around this time,
researchers at South Dakota State University independently
evaluated corn defoliation and wrote
a bulletin for growers. Hail insurance representatives
became aware of the bulletin and requested
2,000 copies for claims managers and adjusters.
Soon after, the industry began experiments " as to
the ultimate yield of corn following injuries to the
plant from hail. " The resulting experiments began
A mule-drawn cultivating team in the 1910's. Around the time this photo was taken, National Crop Insurance
Services' predecessors initiated the agronomic research program that still strives to understand the impact of
nature's perils on crops.
in 1928 at Iowa State College of Agriculture and
Mechanic Arts-known today as Iowa State University-and
the following year at the University
of Nebraska. The Iowa work led to an Experiment
Station Bulletin in 1935 titled: Effect of Injury in
Imitation of Hail Damage on the Development of
the Corn Plant. Further work initiated in 1930 at
Iowa State on barley, oats, and wheat resulted in
an accompanying Bulletin titled: Effect of Injury
in imitation of Hail Damage on the Development
of Small Grains.
In 1938, the first international crop insurance
research project was initiated at the
University of Saskatchewan on wheat. This
work was a continuation of the Iowa work that
began earlier in the decade on plant cut-offs,
head bruising, and stem breakage, but also included
the first research on wheat recoverable
heads-commonly referred to as hangers.
During the 1920s and 1930s a relatively new
crop was garnering interest among farmers-
soybean. Acreage expanded from just under two
million acres in 1924 to nearly 12 million acres in
1940. The entry of the United States into World
War II, and the disruption of global trade, created
a steep increase for the demand of domestic
edible oils, lubricants, and plastics. As a result,
soybean acreage and crop value greatly increased
in the early 1940s. Seeing this unfold, an industry
representative wrote to an Iowa State University
researcher stating the industry was " in the position
of writing considerable insurance on soybean
crops without knowing a great deal about the
plant or the effects on the plant when it is damaged
by hail. " Thus, research on soybean began
in 1943 in Iowa and Illinois on stand reduction,
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Crop Insurance Today First Quarter 2023

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https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/56-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/56-1
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/55-4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/53-4
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/53-03
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https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/52-04
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/52-03
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/52-02
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/52-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/51-04
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/51-03
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/51-02
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http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/50-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/49-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/49-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/may2016
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/february2016
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/november2015
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/cint/september2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/may2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/february2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/november2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/september2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/may2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/february2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/november2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/august2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/may2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/february2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/november2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/august2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/may2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/february2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/cint/44-4
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