Thursday, June 02, 2011

Midwest Towns, Farmers Brace For Summer Floods

The Coming Floods

By Corey Dade
Just as the Mississippi River settles after washing out swaths of the South, the flooding elsewhere has just begun: A raging Missouri River in the northern Plains now will threaten parts of the Midwest well into the summer. Many communities in the upper Midwest had expected a wet season, but the specter of a more severe and sustained period of flooding surfaced following record rainfall concentrated in Montana. Making matters worse, rising temperatures are expected to melt the snowcaps in the Rocky Mountains following a winter of greater-than-usual snowfall. The conditions have prompted officials to ready evacuation plans and build up flood-wall protections in downriver states next in line for the potential deluge, from the Dakotas to Iowa to Nebraska to Missouri. Taken together with the Mississippi River flooding, government officials and analysts say the potential damage to homes, businesses and crops is likely to be the worst since Hurricane Katrina. Read More
Weather Causes Concern About Wheat The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had predicted a big soft red winter (SRW) crop for 2011/12 with an 80 percent bump in production over 2010/11. More SRW was planted and the crop was in excellent condition coming out of dormancy in March. Since then, however, a pattern of heavy rain in the Mid-South and parts of the Midwest could be stressing SRW production potential. “Ohio is waterlogged,” said John Hoffman, a SRW producer in the south-central part of that state where 890,000 acres of SRW were planted. “I’ve heard there is a lot of wheat standing in water, so I believe we will harvest a lot less wheat in Ohio than we thought we would...