Agribusiness Report: Flooded Field Recovery Will Take Time

Published: Mar. 27, 2019 at 6:32 AM CDT
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Damages from flooding in the Midwest are estimated to top $3 billion and with plenty of snow left to melt. There could be more flooding.

President Donald Trump approved federal disaster declarations for counties in Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa agriculture losses are estimated to be at least $200 million.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says recovery will take time, clean up will be tedious on farm fields, "It's not just water that we're dealing with here. That water also brings sand and debris. So when you look at that farm ground that needs to be recovered and restored, that will take time. So, it's something that we're committed to working with our farmers all throughout our ag businesses, getting them back up. But we also know there's a broader community here that's being impacted."

Naig adds concern isn't just with agriculture. Communities, water supplies, homes, and businesses are also affected.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the Senate is moving to a supplemental appropriations bill to get more funds to federal programs to help with natural disasters in 2018 and Grassley has worked with the appropriations committee to expand eligibility to midwestern states for the current flood.

Grassley is chairman of the Senate finance Committee and says he's looking to push ahead to reform Chapter 12 bankruptcy

He is looking at other options to support flooded areas, "I've introduced legislation to provide tax relief measures to help affected flood victims, farmers, homeowners and small business recovery, which I will work to expand because this most recent disaster in Iowa isn't covered by that legislation."