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
CHS-Wayland Exterior Dry Fertilizer storage
Retail FacilitiesCHS Expands Michigan Location With New Dome Blending Fa…
July 1, 2016
When CHS wanted to update its Wayland, MI, facility to better serve its customers, it called on Dome Corp. of Read More
Heritage Cooperative
CropLife 100Heritage, Agland Co-op Explore Mutual Merger Interest
June 30, 2016
According to a report in The Ohio Country Journal, Heritage Cooperative and Agland Co-op have entered into negotiations to consider Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Crop InputsDow Launching New Soybean Burndown Herbicide
June 30, 2016
With the 2016 growing season nearing the halfway mark, many growers are scouting soybean fields to find unwelcome marestail plants Read More
ManagementUpdates on Glyphosate Use in the EU and Bayer/Monsanto
June 29, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest important developments on these crop protection fronts. Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Names Protassium+ Sales Director
June 28, 2016
Compass Minerals, the producer of Protassium+ sulfate of potash, has named Scott Johnson director of sales for Protassium+ North America. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More