Iowa Senator Tom Harkin will join fellow Senator Chuck Grassley Friday for a tour of the floor and storm damaged areas of the state. Harkin says they want to get a first-hand look at the damage and talk with local officials and get their assessments. He says they want to find out what’ll be needed to help clean up, and Harkin says he wants to find out if the things that are in the Ag bill for disaster assistance will work.
Harkin, a Democrat from Cumming, says they hope to get an idea on the amount of aid that will be needed. Grassley says he will see what FEMA can do to be helpful for homeowners and to assess how much will be needed in some kind of emergency legislation to provide help.
"Just like we did in (hurricane) Katrina…we’re gonna help the victims of this flood too," Harkin says. Harkin says the impact of the flooding is already going beyond the state because of the damage to crops.
Harkin says the futures prices on corn and beans are already going up on a daily basis and are likely to go higher. Harkin says we won’t know the total impact until it’s know how much of the crop can be replanted, and how much will still emerge, "But I think we are in a very precarious situation here." Harkin says there’s no doubt the flood damage will have an impact on food prices.
Harkin says he’s seen estimates of corn prices as high as nine dollars or more a bushel. "That’s going to be very tough on our pork producers, our cattle and chickens..Iowa we’re the number one egg producer in the country and those chickens eat that corn, and I’m telling you it’s tough, so there’s going to be a lot of fall out from this one," Harkin says. Harkin says there are conservation measures in the farm bill that if implemented could help ease some of the runoff and erosion caused by flooding.