Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Great White Combine

Well...it wasn't exactly THE great white combine, but it was his little distant cousin.

Yep, I had a little hail damage on my first crop.  It came in an afternoon thunderstorm that appeared non-threatening.  My crop was standing and ready to harvest, just waiting for the neighbor to make his way over after finishing some of his own.  When I heard the hail begin to hit, my heart sank.  It hailed for about a minute but it seemed like an eternity as I waited it out.

Wheat kernels after the hail
In the end, I got pretty lucky with the little hail storm; it could have been much worse.  The hail stones turned out to be about pea-sized.  When I scouted for damage, I could see wheat kernels on the ground and a few broken wheat steams.  The area of damage appeared to be under a half-section of crop (less than 320 acres).

My hail insurance was through the State of Montana.  I called to register my hail claim and explained that I would be harvesting the crop in a couple of days.  I have to say, I was very impressed at how quickly the State Hail Program responded and sent a crop adjuster to the farm.  Yes I was a bit skeptical; I expected government bureaucracy would mean two weeks until an adjuster arrived.  But just two days after the storm, he was on the farm and inspecting the crop.

State Hail Program adjuster checking damage
The final calculations on the damage came out to be 6.1% loss on 160 acres.  I felt that the area of damage was a bit bigger, maybe around 220, 240.  But after watching the adjuster do his appraisal I also felt his damage assessment of 6.1% was very liberal.  So it was a give-and-take situation and I felt like I got a square deal in the end.

Even more surprising?  The State Hail Program had the insurance loss check to me within another 10 days.  Yeah, I would have bet the farm that it would take months for that claim to be processed.  10 days is amazing.

The Old Man used to say you win some, you lose some.  In this case, I lost some grain and lost a bit of profit.  But I won some knowledge and won some respect for The Big Guy's combine.

Yes...the Great White Combine.

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