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Hurricanes, Tropical Depressions, and Flooding, Oh My!

In parts of the country, flooding is often a concern in the spring as farmers head to the fields to plant. Now harvest preparation is under way, but high water is still throwing a wrench in some growers’ plans.

As the Southeast coast braces for Hurricane Florence, farmers across the Midwest are hoping the storm doesn’t bring more rain to their water-logged crops. Last week, Tropical Depression Gordon and other storm systems brought heavy rains and flooding to parts of the Corn Belt.

Here’s a look around the region.

In the first 11 days of September, the entire state of Iowa has experienced above-average rainfall. Parts of the state have seen as much as 9.85 inches above normal for this time of year.

Kinze Manufacturing is located in Williamsburg, Iowa. The president of the company, Suzie Kinzenbaw Veatch, posted video of water moving quickly through the headquarters campus last Wednesday.

Veatch posted an aerial photo showing more flooding around Tama, Iowa, on Saturday.

Across the river in western Illinois, Matt Swanson reported more than 4 inches of rain last week in one tweet. “Pretty sure this is the largest, most sustained rain we’ve had in months,” he said.

Over the weekend, Swanson shared photos of his corn crop in the saturated soils.

Most of the state has recieved above-average rainfall so far this month.

Near Aden, Illinois, farmers were rushing to salvage what corn crop they could yesterday.

Jessie Scott took these photos of the flooding on her family’s Marengo, Iowa, farm over the weekend. Across the Midwest, several farmers have reported they can’t get out to assess damage yet due to flooded roads.

Iowa-Flooding
Jessie Scott

Iowa-Flooding-2
Jessie Scott

Carrie Mess and her family have a dairy farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. In 18 days, their farm received 17 inches of rain.

Last week the family borrowed a neighbor’s drone to get a look at the severe flooding on land they rent. Over the weekend, she and her husband went out in a canoe to see the crop damage firsthand. She posted a live stream of the experience on her popular Facebook page, Dairy Carrie.

“We’re used to having flooding in the spring, but to have it this time of year is pretty crazy,” explains Mess, as her husband submerges his canoe paddle in the flood water.

She estimates 100 acres of the 300 they farm will be a total loss. While the family expects crop insurance to help some, that won’t take the place of the feed they were counting on for their dairy cattle.

This map from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet shows the precipitation departure for Wisconsin so far this month.

Wanda Patsche raises pigs and row crops with her family near Welcome in south-central Minnesota. Last week she talked to her local news about the heavy rains her area has experienced this growing season. She says they’ve received more than 33 inches of rain since May on top of 20 inches of snow the area got in April.

“We are just hoping and praying for decent field conditions for harvest,” she posted on her Facebook page, Minnesota Farm Living.

Data from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet indicates the southeast part of the state has furthest surpassed their average rainfall this month. The region has experienced as much as 8.4 inches of precipitiation above normal.

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