$35M in Crops Lost to Flooding in Arkansas, Study Says

September 5, 2014

A University of Arkansas study finds flooding that began in late June will lead to millions of dollars in lost crop value for Arkansas farmers.

Farmers in 10 Arkansas counties are expected to lose more than $35 million in crop value, though the full extent won’t be known until after harvest, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service study found flooding hit soybean crops the hardest, with $28.4 million in losses for farmers. Rice farmers also suffered $5.6 million in losses. Other crops affected include corn, sorghum and winter wheat.

Monroe, Poinsett and Woodruff counties were the most affected, with $4.5 million in losses. The other counties affected by flooding are Crittenden, Cross, Prairie, St. Francis, Craighead, Jackson and Lee.

“It’s going to put (farmers) behind the eight ball. It’ll take them a couple years to recover from it,” said Van Banks, cooperative extension agent staff chairman for Monroe County. “Some (crops) survived; some didn’t. There wasn’t much rhyme or reason as to what survived and what didn’t.”

But this summer’s flooding did not damage crops as much as it did three years ago, when floods cost farmers $335 million.

The flooding also won’t hurt the state’s agricultural production overall. In 2013, Arkansas farmers produced $1.84 million worth of soybeans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service.

This year’s soybean losses are about 1.5 percent of last year’s total.

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