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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Midwest flooding has killed livestock, ruined and has farmers worried for their future

Midwest flooding has killed livestock, ruined and has farmers worried for their future



Now as they watch the new lakes that overtook their property slowly recede, having a painfully long time to reflect:

Across parts of the Midwest, hundreds of livestock are drowned or stranded; valuable unsold, stored grain is ruined in submerged storage bins;

"I would say 50% of the farmers in our area will not recover from this," Dustin Sheldon, a farmer in southwestern Iowa's flood-devastated Fremont County near the swollen Missouri River, said this week. ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190321071513-02-midwest-flooding-march-2019-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190321071513-02-midwest-flooding-march-201

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Farmers and ranchers have been particularly hard hit. In rural eastern Nebraska outside of Omaha, farmer Eric Alberts told CNN affiliate WOWT that about 700 of his hogs drowned, many in his child.

He was trying to move his animals when the waters started rising last week. Within 30 minutes, we had over 2 feet of water coming through the front child, and just swells were coming, and we barely made it out of here, "leaving most of the animals behind, he told WOWT.

 Eric Alberts said many hogs drowned in this child.

The fate of other animals is a mystery. Sheldon, the Iowa farmer, said Wednesday he knows of six facilities holding about 3,000 pigs each – and one was immediately able to reach the flooded buildings to see how the livestock fared.

Rescue groups have tried to help in some cases .

Over the weekend, Iowan Scott Shehan crossed state lines to help ferry donkeys and ponies to dry land. One of his Facebook videos, rescuers used a makeshift floating platform – pushed by an airboat – to get a pony out of Sycamore Farms in Waterloo, Nebraska, on Sunday.

At least one donkey was found dead there, he said.

"Nobody could plan for this," Shehan, co-owner of Lusco Farms Rescue, told CNN.

Beyond livestock, crop loss – both harvested and not yet planted – will weigh heavily on farmers.

 Private pilots are stranded residents of a flooded Nebraska town

In Iowa's Fremont County, Sheldon's farm supports three families. Floodwaters got into their bins, ruining about 75% to 80% of their stored crop.

Estimates that are hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue lost – money that now can support the families or pay the farm's expenses.

Farmers commonly store the harvest and sell portions throughout the year, sometimes to wait for better prices in the spring. Losing it is devastating.

"In 2011, we thought we had the 500-year flood – the Noah's Ark of all floods," Sheldon, who is also the Fremont County supervisor, told CNN. "We didn't file bankruptcy, but we went to some really tough times on the money side.

" It took every dime or money our family had to put the country back into production at the level it was. Here are eight years later, we are right back to square one. "

 A photo taken by the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol shows flooding the Missouri River in rural Iowa.

His farm wasn't flooded – he lives on high ground But he knows many farmers in the area whose bins – storing thousa nds of bushels of corn and soybeans – were deluged.

 Grain silos destroyed by the flooding in Hamburg, Iowa, on Wednesday

One bushel or corn sells for about $ 3.40. So just 10,000 ruined bushels means around $ 34,000 in lost revenue.

Lost harvests aren't the only problem. It's unclear whether the fields will be good for planting this year.

"More than likely, they will not be able to crop this year," because of flooding now, and because "we will not have time to repair this year's crop," Sturm said.

This was already a financially challenging time. Midwestern farm bankruptcies were up 19% in 2018 from a year prior, and at the highest level in more than 10 years, according to the American Farm Bureau.
Market conditions have been tough. Soybean sales are slowed down by trade with China, a top buyer. Corn cash receipts have been below a 10-year average for four straight years, the American Farm Bureau says
 Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers load bales of hay into a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for airdrops to cattle stranded by flooding Wednesday in Columbus, Nebraska ]

Insurance policies and other programs may help

There are insurance products that could help farmers – if they had them

First, consider the revenue farmers will lose if they aren't able to plant this year. About 90% of Iowa's available assets are covered by crop insurance, and many of these coverages are guaranteed when planting is prevented, said Steven Johnson, a farm management specialist at Iowa State University.

On one hand, the guarantee is limited . Such policies will typically pay 55% of covered corn revenue and 60% of soybean revenue, he said.

On the other hand, a farmer who can't plant has to spend on seed, fertilization or harvesting. 19659002] Second, look at the ruined crops in storage.

But some farmers will have a separate, blanket policy that covers buildings, machinery, equipment and stored crop, Johnson said.

Even if farmers do have this Separate policy, which means they don't suffer.

A $ 2 million form policy, for example, may have $ 10,000 deductible the farmer's pays out of pocket, Johnson said.

Federal programs also can assist. The US Farm Service Agency offers money to livestock owners who have lost animals because of weather. It also offers funding to help them rehabilitate land damaged by natural disasters, in addition to emergency loans.

Sturm, the fire chief and farmer in Hamburg, said some farms could be destroyed financially if they deal with both loss of stored harvest and inability to plant this year.

"There are many farmers that are not going to know what to do. They'll probably look for some type of assistance, but it's simply going to be devastating," he said. ]

CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Katie Lobosco contributed to this report.


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