Darrell Campbell, director of the Farm Service Agency in Callaway County, estimates 60 to 70 percent of Missouri's agricultural producers are covered by some form of insurance.
Campbell said the loan process itself acts as a deterrent. "There's too many bells and whistles to go through," he said, referring to the large amount of collateral that the emergency loan program requires.
The program, as it stands, has been in place since 1961, said Kent Politsch, chief of public affairs for the Farm Service Agency in Washington, D.C.
"We have records of disaster loans being available as early as 1918," he said. "It's a fairly old practice."
Even given its old age and what he acknowledged as a low level of use, Politsch doesn't believe the program has outgrown its use.
"I don't think it's ever outdated," he said. "Our purpose is to be a safety net."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.