Some farmers in northwest Missouri face the very real possibility of not planting a crop this year due to the flood. Congressman Sam Graves, who lives near Tarkio, says he has heard from many farmers who still have fields under water and no prospect of getting a crop in the ground this year.
“You have no income. There will be no income for folks that are farming along the river,” Graves says. “They can’t put a crop in. So, okay, you erase a year’s worth of income. What do you do? You want to talk about stress and frustration, that’s what you hear.”
The prospect of no crop and, thus, no income this year grows more realistic as rain comes down and floodwaters fail to recede. Fields ruined by the flood are not likely to drain and dry out in time for planting.
Graves says older farmers likely have banked enough savings to survive the year.
“But, a lot of younger farmers, they aren’t in that position and the fact of the matter is the machinery payments continue, the farm payments continue, the house payment continues regardless of whether or not you have income or not and that puts people in a real bind when you’re dealing with that, so yeah, it could put people under,” according to Graves.
A disaster aid package continues to work its way through Congress. Whether it will be enough to offset the losses from this year’s flood remains to be seen. Graves does note that the package likely will contain some money to compensate for the loss of stored grain, ruined when floodwaters surrounded, then collapsed grain bins in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.
By Brent Martin of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph