Iowa farmers are questioning whether or not they’ll have time to replant after their flooded fields dry out. The Iowa Farm Bureau estimates that floodwaters have claimed 1.3 million corn acres and possibly two million acres of soybeans.
Mike Russell of Mount Vernon had 120 acres of farmland under water. The floods also swept away some of his hog operation. "We lost some smaller hog buildings…now they belong to my neighbor," Russell joked. Most of the buildings remaining on the farm took on six feet of water.
Russell’s grain bin survived the flood but the grain inside was damaged. Russell says he’ll definitely return to the farm house built by his grandfather. "We’ll change some things…there’s been a lot of extra stuff left there for a lot of years, so we’ll have the opportunity to rebuild and realign things the way we’d like," Russell said. "I’d hate to lose the house."
Russell says the property has survived three previous floods but nothing compared to this year’s damage. Dave Miller is the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s Director of Research and Commodity Services. He says farmers should be able to plant short season corn, which is a faster maturing corn, as late as June 26 – while soybeans could be planted as late as July 2.