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(Reuters) – The drought ravaging America’s prime farmland is having an unexpected consequence that could shape the future of agricultural finance: in some cases, farmers who have amped up their insurance coverage may be giving up on their crops early rather than to trying to save them.

Anecdotal evidence and economic assumptions suggest that a record number of farmers are likely preparing to file insurance claims this year, opting to plow under their withered crops — some without bothering to administer the costly pesticides and weed killers that might help salvage a dwindling harvest.

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