Farmers take stock of a scorching summer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Farmers take stock of a scorching summer

July 3, 2006

Clay County --  Dry weather has pushed many Southwest Georgia crops past the critical point.   Many farmers are alerting their crop insurance agents they have lost the battle against Mother Nature.  

And crop loss adjusters are visiting fields to assess the damage.  Michael Smith, a field supervisor for Rain and Hail Agriculture Insurance checks what is left of Dave and Connie Dozier's cotton field. "You see how many cotton plants are up, and there is just nothing there."

These fields have had almost no rain this spring and summer. Tropical Storm Alberto's showers even missed them. The Doziers have called their crop insurance company, because they know there is little hope. "When it's too far gone, and we are getting pretty close to that. We are gonna having to send adjusters back out and paying some claims," Smith said.

The Doziers say most of their neighbors are also losing their crops, so the crop insurance companies are working overtime. "We've sent a lot of adjusters out. Had a lot of claims turned in," Smith said.

The Doziers say they are frustrated. "Crop insurance provides you peace of mind so you can sleep at night, because you know you won't absolutely belly up. But it's very frustrating to know that all your hard work is for nothing," said Connie Dozier.

Smith's company is starting to call in extra help to write up all the claims they will face. "We're trying to get and service everyone of our policy holders who turn in a claim as soon as we possibly can. Bringing adjusters in from different states and different parts of the country," Smith said.

These Southwest Georgia farmers have given up hoping for life saving rain showers.  "I don't. No, I don't even turn on the weather anymore," Dozier said.  

"We need some rain bad in Southwest Georgia, to bring up some of these crops that still have a chance to make it through," Smith said.

But the forecast does not give much hope, and crop loss adjusters are starting check fields that are total losses.


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