A study by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation shows agriculture-related losses from the Missouri River flooding at $207-million. Federation senior research and policy analyst, Tim Johnson, says that covers the six Iowa counties along the river.
He says most of the damage occurred in Fremont County, about one fourth of the damage — because of its larger area. Johnson says the study included the land and crops, but also the other things related to agriculture. “Anything you buy, anything you produce, those items reverberate through the economy at some level so any kind of lost net income from these floods will impact not just the farmers, but anybody in those rural communities,” Johnson said.
The study did take into account potential crop insurance payments that farmers will receive because their crops were destroyed, as well as U.S.D.A. disaster payments for crop production or quality losses. He says this study is just one picture of the impact the flooding has had on the region.
He says this is just the tip of the iceberg looking at only the agricultural losses, and it doesn’t even total the loses to infrastructure with the miles of roads and the levies that need to be replace. Johnson says it’s just a start in coming up with numbers for the disaster.
This study also doesn’t tell the about the good and bad impact on surrounding counties. Johnson says there were be some impact on surrounding Iowa counties as he says people may purchase items in Red Oak or Shenandoah or maybe Clarinda. And he says the study doesn’t look at Nebraska where over one dozen counties were also impacted.
Johnson says the finally tally of the damage may take months to determine. Johnson says their study didn’t look at the long-term impact, but he says there may even be an impact next spring if all of the acres are not able to be planted because of the flood damage. He says the levies may not be repaired and farmers may not want to chance planting without them, so the impact could carry over into next spring and summer.
The losses by county look like this: Fremont County $52.2-million, with $43.9-million in direct crop income loss and $8.3-million in direct losses from the damaged fields; Harrison County suffered $36.7-million in crop and other economic losses; Monona County lost $32.3-million; Pottawattamie losses were $31.2-million; Mills $22.2-million and Woodbury County $14.7-million.