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
ManagementReviewing MAGIE 2015
September 2, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks what he saw at the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show. Read More
Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & …
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Mobile tablet
OpinionTaking Data Head On
September 2, 2015
As you read this column, I’m hoping that if you picked up the phone and gave me a call, you’d Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces New Business Unit Head For…
September 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America announces the addition of Rico Christensen, Business Unit Head, North America. Christensen will have responsibility for Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For…
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
SprayersNORAC Active Wing Roll Slated For More Sprayers
September 1, 2015
NORAC Systems, a member of the Topcon Positioning Group, announces the release of Active Wing Roll for RoGator, Apache, New Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
2015 ShowStopper Award, MAGIE
EquipmentA ShowStopper From Case IH: The Patriot 2250
August 31, 2015
For nine years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with not only Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, FMC Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Platform
August 31, 2015
FMC Corp. and Monsanto Co. announced today an expanded agreement to continue their participation in the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Read More
Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified I…
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsWhat’s Next For Monsanto, Syngenta?
August 28, 2015
After dropping its $47 billion bid to take over Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta, Monsanto may be turning its focus to Read More
Golden Harvest Corn stalks
Crop InputsMonsanto: Syngenta Not The Only Horse In Crop Protectio…
August 28, 2015
Monsanto Co, having ditched an audacious $46 billion (£30 billion) offer for Syngenta AG, may downshift to a humbler strategy Read More
ManagementConsolidation hits and a miss; And a look at China’s ch…
August 28, 2015
As Monsanto suspends its pursuit of Syngenta, consolidation news at the retail and distribution level heats up. CropLife magazine’s Executive Read More