Floods Endanger 2008 Yields

The cost of this year’s Midwest flooding may end up rivaling that of the 1993 Midwest floods that caused more than $20 billion in damage and 48 deaths. How hard has agriculture been hit?

This month’s flooding has caused few deaths and the damage has yet to be fully assessed. The Army Corps of Engineers, which operates river locks and dams, said 22 levees along the Mississippi had failed during the week ending June 19, including 12 on June 18. The Corps also said 48 levees protecting more than 285,000 acres of cropland from Dubuque, IA, to St. Louis, MO, were overflowing or at high flood risk.

Estimates are that 5 million acres across the Midwest have been ruined and will not produce a crop this year.

The prospects of smaller crops have jolted commodity markets, food producers. and exporters. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn prices traded at a record $8.07 a bushel. For 40 years, CBOT corn has traded mostly in a range of $2 to $4 a bushel.

Growers and officials are assessing the damage as the flooding continues in the mid-Mississippi Valley — and according to AccuWeather.com, the picture is not pretty.

Dale Mohler, expert senior meteorologist and AccuWeather.com agriculture expert, says by the time the water recedes in the next one to two weeks it will be too late for crop recovery or replanting. "The flood has taken another chunk out of the corn and soybean crops, but how big a chunk remains to be seen," he says. The situation is the latest blow after a wet spring delayed the planting of corn and soybean crops.

According to Mohler, 5 percent to 10 percent of the corn and soybean crops could be lost. “While that may not seem like a large percentage, it is in a year of tight supplies,” he says.

In Indiana, 26 counties have already been declared Federal Disaster Areas; in some areas stream banks and levees have collapsed. According to an Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) bulletin issued June 16, the agency anticipates major crop failure. Planting was already two weeks late and only 82 percent of corn and 43 percent of soybeans were planted in the southern part of the state due to previous wet weather concerns.

Reports of flooding, broken levees, and drowned crops and livestock continue to pour in from Iowa and points south. Planalytics’ Greenness maps show that millions of acres of corn throughout the Midwest are in poor condition. Planted late to begin with, the 2008 crop barely made it out of the ground before the rains came. Nearly three-quarters of the state of Iowa received eight inches or more of surplus precipitation in two weeks.

Many people have been asking how large the toll will be on overall corn production. Iowa produces approximately 5 percent of the world’s corn. The real cost in terms of yield won’t be known for some time, says Planalytics.

“Crops not drowned out entirely by floodwaters may survive to produce respectable yields,” said a June 19 Planalytics report. “Granted, with the saturated soils there is some concern that shallow root development might come back to further haunt this crop later in the season if conditions turn dry, but it is simply too early to tell at this point.”

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More
ManagementUpdates on Upcoming Trips, Dow-DuPont, and the Des Moin…
February 9, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review a few future travels, along with the latest on big company mergers and Read More
Championship Tractor Pull
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Highlighted By Championshi…
February 9, 2017
The scream of monster engines, the stench of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
Corn Field
InsecticidesArysta LifeScience, DuPont Collaborate On Rynaxpyr Prem…
February 8, 2017
Arysta LifeScience recently announced that it has entered into a global collaboration with DuPont Crop Protection for the development of Read More
Industry NewsThe Fertilizer Institute Board Elects New Chairman, Vic…
February 8, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) Board of Directors has elected Chuck Magro, President and CEO of Agrium, and Tony Will, President Read More
Sonny Perdue
ManagementARA Joins More Than 600 Organizations In Support Of Per…
February 8, 2017
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) recently joined with more than 600 agricultural groups on a letter of support for Governor Read More
World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Panel 2016
Crop InputsWorld Agri-Tech Innovation Summit To Be Held In San Fra…
February 8, 2017
“Breakthrough Applications and Business Models for Sustainable Farming” is the theme of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit to be held Read More
Cedar Country Cooperative
Eric SfiligojConsolidation In Agriculture: More Middle Movement
February 7, 2017
If you’ve regularly followed my column, you know I’m something of a movie junkie. Like many, one of my favorite Read More