COLUMBIA — Gene Painter kneels and observes the sample of wheat before him, explaining the difference between damage done by hail and other perils. A clean cut in the stalk signals a rodent; a bent stalk is wind damage; but a broken stalk or missing berries are signs that hail is to blame.

Once determining that hail is the culprit, Painter, a claims supervisor with American Farm Bureau Insurance, refers to the calculations that are used to determine the stage of growth the plants were in when they were damaged. The earlier the damage occurred, the higher the expected loss. These tools serve as a guide to assessing hail claims.

“The way things were done in the old days, every adjuster had his own method and we had to get away from that,” he said. “We need to base it on real facts.”.

Painter is one of 18 plot leaders instructing 85 crop insurance adjusters at the National Crop Insurance Service Crop-Hail Wheat & Corn School.

The school was held Tuesday and Wednesday at MU’s Bradford Research & Extension Center. Bradford has been home to the annual school for over 20 years.