Spring Flooding in the Midwest Means Big Problems This Summer… for All of Us

This past spring, the Plains and Midwest were hit with flooding like most Americans have never seen before.

Eight states bordering the Mississippi River experienced the longest stretch of flooding since the Great Flood of 1927.

And because an above average amount of rain has fallen since then, many farms are still flooded. And inundated with debris, sand and silt.

Planting is way behind. In fact, many farms are so soaked that grain planting is the slowest in recorded history.

Crops Not Getting Planted

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has some alarming and scary statistics for us.

Only 58 percent of the corn crop had been planted as of recently. That’s compared to 90 percent of the crop last year.

Soybean planting is even farther behind. Only 29 percent of the soybean crop had been planted as of recently. Compared to 66 percent in 2018.

It is expected that more than 6 million acres will go completely unplanted this year that are normally planted.

Expected Oversupply Turns to Worries of Shortages

Prior to the excessive rainfall and snowmelt that deluged the Plains and the Midwest, there were fears of an oversupply.

That oversupply was anticipated due to the impact of the United States-China trade war.

Not anymore. According to Fox Business, “there is a real risk of a global shortfall of grain.”

Crop exports are down. Livestock rates are declining. And the problems associated with the flooding are expected to be felt for several years.

Farmers Are Hardly Alone

Our first thought about this might be, “Those poor farmers.” They got their usual amounts of seed, but now are unable to plant much of it. And many of their tractors and other farm equipment were damaged by flooding, as well as fences.

But the economic impact on farmers is just one of many major problems a wide variety of people around the globe are going to be dealing with.

Grain rates are rising, and that’s going to affect people all over the world. With feed rates rising, meat, poultry, bread and pastas will increase as well.

The distribution system is also affected. Local seed, fertilizer, pesticide and farm equipment dealers will also see dramatic cuts. As well as grain handlers.

Gasoline Prices Will Rise

There is also a direct link to rising gasoline rates. Ethanol, an important gasoline additive, recently jumped 10 percent.

That’s from to the rising rates of corn. And because production from ethanol plants has slowed.

The flooding also shut down major pipelines. Which means the oil supply to refineries was limited.

The country’s largest oil storage hub is in Cushing, Oklahoma. The Ozark pipeline leading out of that hub was recently shut down due to flooding.

Food Pantries to Suffer

And it’s not only the average consumer who will be affected by food shortages and higher rates. People who count on food pantries for some of their meals will also feel the crunch.

Volunteers from groups such as After the Harvest say there could be slim pickings this year. They usually are able to collect extra crops from farms to distribute to the poor.

Frank Gieringer is a farmer in Edgerton, Kansas who partners with After the Harvest. He said, “This is the first time I can remember that as of the first week of June we have not planted anything at all.”

Zach Callaway, a manager with the group says, “If there’s not enough for the farmer, then there’s not extra for us to get, which has definitely made it harder to meet our mission of getting that healthy food to those people.”

To Plant or Not to Plant

Even some farmers who can plant their crops in wet fields – after clearing debris and leveling the soil – are not sure if they should.

Scott Olson owns a farm north of Omaha, Nebraska. Here’s what he says.

“So, do I fix it and try to plant it, not knowing whether I’ve got more water coming? If I get more water… it’ll undo everything I did, plus wipe out all the crop that I just put on there.”

Kelly Brunkhorst is with the Nebraska Corn Board. He said that just clearing a field requires much time and money. And that includes, “…stuff that floated down river to deceased livestock to tree limbs.”

Be Prepared for the Fallout

We talk a lot about the immediate and short-term effects of extreme weather. Especially when it comes to natural or man-made disasters that cause power outages, closed roads and much more devastation.

But when it comes to the flooding in the Plains and Midwest, it makes you stop and think about the long-term negative consequences as well.

With food shortages and rising prices certain to be felt this summer, it’s critical that we all be as prepared and self-reliant as possible.

And having food to eat is key to surviving whatever situation may arise. Whether it be extreme weather, financial disaster, job loss, illness, and even food shortages.

That’s why more and more people are taking matters into their own hands by having non-perishable, good-up-to-25-years survival food on hand.

Our top recommendation is our popular 3-Month Survival Food kit.

Each kit is designed to last up to 25 years on the shelf and packed with delicious family-favorite recipes you’ll be proud to serve.

Plus they are made of the finest ingredients,and also made right here in the USA. They taste great and provide the critical nutrition you need.

Take a look at our 3-Month Kit yourself here

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