Water still covers much of that farmland and likely will until fall when the Missouri River is expected to begin to recede back into its banks.
We asked the Farm Service Agency’s Doug Klein if farmers in the Missouri Valley will survive the flood.
“We really don’t have any way to know on that,” Klein says. “By and large, we’ve not gotten very many reports about what is the actual damage.”
Klein, the FSA Program Supervisor Chief, says the biggest question facing farmers is whether the flooding will only affect this year’s crop.
“At this point, we really don’t have a good idea of exactly how far-reaching are the effects going to be,” says Klein.
Farmers now play a waiting game. The US Army Corps of Engineers expects to back off of upstream dam releases in a week. Still, that will only drop releases at Gavins Point Dam from 160,000 cubic feet per second to 150,000. The brings a bit of relief to the Missouri River, but Corps officials acknowledge releases throughout August will likely set another record. The Missouri isn’t expected to recede back into its banks until September or October.
Once floodwaters recede, it will become evident how much debris is left behind and how much land has been scoured by floodwaters. Klein says, then, farmers will begin to evaluate whether the land can be worked for a crop next year.