Waterlogged soils are keeping Nebraskan farmers from completing fieldwork
By Diego Flammini
Farmers in parts of the U.S. Midwest can do nothing but wait for conditions to improve before completing field work.
Flooded fields and roads are keeping farmers from doing any kind of field work, said Boone McAfee, director of research with the Nebraska Corn Board.
“Farmers would like to be planting soon but I don’t think that’s going to be possible because I still think we’re in the cleanup and assessment stage,” he told Farms.com.
“Fields are just too wet, and some farmers that did try to do some field work ran into muddy soils and had to stop.”
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture pegged damage to the state’s ag industry at around US$400 million of livestock damage and US$440 million in crop losses since the flooding began last month.
The flooding has the potential to affect more than 400,000 corn and soybean acres, said Kyle Taplet, an ag meteorologist with Maxar.
In total, 81 of Nebraska’s 93 counties have issued disaster declarations.
More wet weather is on the way as rain is forecasted to arrive Wednesday, Thursday and possibly Sunday.
The added rain will do more damage to rural infrastructure, McAfee said.
“In addition to the fields being too wet to work, we’ve got bridges out and roads damaged,” he said.
“If you’ve got the heavy farm equipment traveling on those roads you’ve got to be careful and make sure that it’s safe to do so.
“I think it’s going to be several years before Nebraska is back to normal.”
Farms.com has reached out to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Nebraska Soybean Board for further updates.