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The Real Cost of a Sweltering Summer

By Lewis Braham - 2012-07-19T00:21:34Z

Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Cost to Farmers

Damaged crops may not actually mean big losses for growers, thanks to crop insurance. Federal crop-insurance programs covered 265.7 acres in 2011, when such companies as Wells Fargo & Co. and Ace Ltd. paid out more than $10.8 billion, double the $4.25 billion they paid in 2010. This year, insurers will see "the largest claim that they've probably ever had," said John Cory, the chief executive officer of Prairie Mills Products LLC, a grain processor in Rochester, Indiana.