The 'Toughest Pill' From Farm Belt Flooding

Farmers were storing corn and soybeans, waiting for price to rise another 10 cents or so
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2019 11:15 AM CDT
The 'Toughest Pill' From Farm Belt Flooding
From left, Nebraska Gov. Pete Rickets, Vice President Mike Pence, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds survey flooded areas via helicopter on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Flooding has killed at least four people, plus livestock, and destroyed millions of dollars worth of grain supplies in Farm Belt states across the Missouri River Basin. Meanwhile, Southern states are apparently in for a brutal spring in terms of flooding. Details:

  • Farm Belt: There's more than $1.3 billion in flood damage in Nebraska—including $440 million in crop losses and $400 million in cattle losses, reports NPR. South Dakota is also affected along with Iowa, where 100,000 acres of farmland are under water, per Reuters. Farmers had been stockpiling corn and soybeans amid a trade dispute with China. Some, whose storage bins burst as the grains became wet, wanted prices to rise only another 10 cents a bushel before selling off supplies, per Reuters. "That's the toughest pill to swallow," says the director of the Iowa Soybean Association. "This could end their career of farming."

  • On the horizon: The NOAA warned Thursday that spring flooding in Southern states along the Mississippi River could be "potentially historic," reports the AP. Melting snow in the upper Midwest is contributing to the problem. One hydrologist notes that the Mississippi has been made shallower in recent years because of sediment buildup. He says a "mega flood" that could result would have the potential to ruin New Orleans' water supply.
(Getting fresh water is already a problem in the current flooding.)

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