NEBRASKA, Papio-Missouri River NRD – Historic Midwest flooding that has busted levees, inundated homes and claimed at least three people’s lives could cost farmers billions of dollars in lost crops and livestock — and the aftertaste of the disaster could linger for years.
“A lot of them have lost the topsoil completely,” said John Winkler, general manager of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District in Nebraska. “I’m not expecting them to recover soon, or ever.”
Inundated cropland — tens of thousands of acres’ worth across Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri — is likely to remain less productive, thanks to compaction and loss of nutrients and oxygen. In some areas, farmers may not plant crops like corn and soybeans again for a generation, agriculture experts said.