Global crop insurance claims were the highest ever last year after drought cut yields in the U.S., historically the biggest grower of corn and soybeans.

Claims worldwide were worth about $23 billion in 2012, with $15 billion going to growers in the U.S., said Karl Murr, who heads the agriculture unit at Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurance company. About 85 percent of farmland is insured in the U.S., compared with 20 percent globally. U.S. corn and soybean harvests slid to a six-year low in the past season after the most severe dry spell since 1956.

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