Usually, farmers in Nebraska and Iowa have a warning ahead of time for rising waters, giving them the ability to move their harvests and equipment. Because of the melting snow, heavy rain, the “bomb cyclone” and levee breaks, there was little time for farmers to act, resulting in the loss of stored crops and thousands of dollars in damages for many farmers in the affected areas.
Now, according to a recent report from North Dakota radio station KFGO, the millions of bushels in storage that were lost in the Great Plains flooding will not be able to be compensated by disaster relief programs or the U.S. government because programs for this type of damage do not exist. On top of this, farmers will have to destroy any grains that have been contaminated by floodwaters.
Just last year, U.S. farmers received $12 billion in aid from the USDA without Congressional approval after losses from the trade war. The agency also has programs that cover losses to help farmers who cannot plant due to weather conditions and to remove debris from fields. The issue currently is that the USDA does not have a program set up to cover “uninsured stored-crop losses from widespread flooding,” according to the report.
In order for any sort of relief, the U.S. government would have to pass legislation. While some Congress members have started to push for that aid, legislation will take time which is something farmers in Nebraska and Iowa do not have a lot of.