Iowa Farmers Face Damage After Floods, Some May Replant

July 2, 2014

Area farmers are dealing with damage to their crops and fences after all the recent heavy rain and flooding.

Farmers in northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska face significant work ahead because of the flooding on the Big Sioux, Rock and other rivers, the Sioux City Journal reported Sunday.

“We have weeks of fixing fence ahead of us, as dozens of poles were pulled out by the force of the water,” said farmer Jack Kruse, of George, Iowa, in Lyon County.

Storm after storm has moved across the area recently as a wet weather pattern emerged. Iowa received 3.7 inches of rain last week, which was three times the usual amount.

The Big Sioux River crested on June 20 just a few feet off the record, and some fields still have standing water.

The flooding and heavy rains could also have a lasting effect on crops because fertilizer may have been washed away and standing water in fields could have killed some plants.

“We’ve got beans turning black and dying, and the bottom ground is going to be underwater at a lot of low spots,” said Dillon Swanson, an agronomist at the Farmers Elevator Co-Op in Rock Rapids, Iowa. “We’re going to have problems when it comes time for harvest with wet corn. Those acres are going to be a few points under.”

Some farmers may need to replant damaged crops, but that might be a tough decision at this point in the season. Farm Bureau Regional Manager Mark Bohner said this year’s flooding on the Big Sioux, Little Sioux and Rock rivers has been the worst he’s seen in 17 years.

“Right now, we’re encouraging people to meet with their crop insurance people to try and make the best decision,” he told the newspaper.

Janna Whitlock said her pasture in Union County, South Dakota, and some equipment there was damaged by floodwaters.

“Our pasture was all underwater,” Whitlock said. “We have a machine shed, and we lost three push lawnmowers. Everything else, our snow blower, our tiller, I’m sure all that’s all done for.”

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