Floods Ruin Midwest Economy

Food prices repercussions will be felt around the state
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2008 2:30 PM CDT
Cows find a high spot in a flooded field Monday, Aug. 20, 2007 as National Guard troops man a checkpoint outside Houston, Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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(Newser) – The floods ravaging the Midwest are taking a catastrophic toll on the region's farmers, and consumers across the country will feel the pinch in higher food prices, MSNBC reports. Even if waters recede quickly, farmers will lose a sizable chunk of the season—they need about 120 growing days—and it may take some farms years to recover. Summed up an official in Illinois: “Livestock was affected. Farmhouses were affected. Machinery was affected, and the land was affected.”

Meanwhile, the flooding has suspended barge traffic, leaving farmers’ current harvests to spoil in warehouses. Because of the supply holdups, corn prices have hit an all-time high on the Chicago Board of Trade, money that will go to farmers in drier locales. "Anything grown on a farm is going to see a price increase,” said a food charity director.