Midwest farms brace for more storms, flooding

  • Market: Feedgrade minerals, Fertilizers
  • 04/10/19

US Midwest spring plantings face another setback this week as farmers scramble to salvage inventory before another round of heavy snow and rain pelts the US Midwest following recent severe flooding.

Flood conditions are escalating along the Red River of the North, affecting North Dakota and Minnesota, said the National Weather Service (NWS). Today nine of 16 river gauges along the river valley are at moderate or major flood stage, according to US Geological Survey data. Looming severe weather is forecast to push more gauges above flood stage. The Red River valley is a major spring wheat growing area, and flooding there could disrupt plantings.

Farmers in Nebraska and southeastern Iowa are bracing for a severe storm system, forecast to ratchet up combined snowmelt and flooding, according to NWS's 3-7 day hazards outlook. Blizzard conditions are due in central and south-central Nebraska, starting this evening and lasting until early 12 April. Total snow accumulations of 3-6 inches and ice accumulations of up to 0.2 inches are expected.

Midwest farms have suffered significant damage from recent flooding.

Iowa has 100,000 acres of flooded farmland across the southwestern counties of Fremont and Mills, according to Iowa's agriculture department. The department estimates $124mn in agriculture-related damages from the flooding.

Nebraska's farms have suffered damages of $440mn in the crop sector and $400mn in the livestock sector, according to the state's agriculture department estimates. An assessment of acreage harm is underway.

Crops soaked by a river or stream are considered adulterated, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA says on its website it "will work with producers to consider requests to recondition an adulterated crop into animal food on a case-by-case basis."


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