Gov. Kim Reynolds is warning Iowans what millions of Midwesterners have come to understand in recent days – .
Reynolds said because of compromised levees.
said Reynolds, who added that her tour of western Iowa this week had revealed unprecedented flooding.
, according to the U.S. National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The center tracks snow nationwide and sends out airplanes to measure its depth.
As river levels rose, spilling over levees and swallowing up townships, farmers watched helplessly as the waters consumed not only their fields, but , the one thing that can stand between them and financial ruin.
said Tom Geisler, a farmer in Winslow, Nebraska, who said he lost two full storage bins of corn. “We had been depending on the income from our livestock, but now all of our feed is gone, so that is going to be even more difficult. We haven’t been making any money from our grain farming because of trade issues and low prices.”
As of Dec. 1, producers in states with flooding – including South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois – had , according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
At local cash prices for corn and soybean, that’s about $7.3 million farmers may be unable to replace. , Jorgenson noted.
asked Clint Pischel, 23, of Niobrara, Neb., whose lowland fields were flooded by the ice-filled Niobrara River after a dam failed. He spent Monday gathering 30 dead baby calves from his family’s ranch in this northern region of the state, finding their bodies under huge chunks of ice.
Doug and Eric Alberts are trying to round up the surviving hogs on their 9-acre farm in Fremont, Nebraska. There aren’t many. .
The father and son have worked for three years to build this business. Then, a few days ago, the water came.
And severe winter and spring floods take another toll that’s much more difficult to quantify: Soil loss, on a grand scale, right in the region that provides a huge amount of our food supply. The Midwest boasts one of the globe’s greatest stores of topsoil, of which has been lost in the past 50 years. Topsoil is the fragile, slow-to-regenerate resource that drives agriculture. As University of Washington ecologist David Montgomery explained in his terrific 2007 book
Stories have slowly been surfacing, and images have been taken showing the complete and utter chaos Nebraska is currently in. Images of farmers and ranchers wading through the water carrying hay to the haggard cattle, and frightened horses… Using a Deweze feed box to pull near frozen sheep from what would be a snowy grave… Using aluminum scoop shovels to quite literally tunnel out buried bulls. Taking tractors into the mud and slop to skillfully grab ahold of cows who are stuck in belly deep mud and carry them to safety and feed. Highway patrol officers helping free baby calves that had been quite literally frozen to the ground. The list of things go on. Our ag community is working night and day to save each and every animal that they can, sacrificing sleep, food, and their own well-being to provide the livestock those very things. Our farmers and ranchers, and neighbors of the rural communities around the nation are banding together to ensure that help will arrive.
But please, keep in mind why that is when you go to the grocery store, and remember just how many are affected by this disaster.
There will be families that have lost everything. They lost equipment, their houses, sheds, tools, and worst of all, their animals they care deeply for. Their livelihoods are being stripped from them in the most painful manner possible. Many will no longer be able to live the life they’ve known and loved their entire life. They will be displaced, and times for them will be harder than anything anyone will ever have to face. So, when you are at the grocery store, please keep in mind the cause for the prices climbing up, and instead of getting frustrated and complaining for having to pay more, be thankful for what you have and say a prayer for the folks suffering in Nebraska.
25 States Are at Risk of Serious Flooding This Spring, U.S. ForecastSays