Midwest Flood Relief

March 25, 2019

Farmers and ranchers across America’s heartland continue to tally their losses as the recovery and cleanup efforts continue in the wake of historic flooding associated with this month’s “bomb cyclone.”

With much midwest cropland still underwater 10 days after the flooding started, the ability of these farmers and ranchers to make a living – and to feed the nation and the world – has been severely impacted. Livestock losses and damage to land, houses, barns, equipment, and other property, is catastrophic in many cases. Planting is already delayed, and, in some areas, cancelled completely for this season.

In the immediate aftermath of the flooding, affected producers and other eyewitness painted a desperate scene.

Bill Lechtenberg, with the Nebraska Farm Bureau described conditions in his area thus: “One neighbor up to the west of me six miles – his calving pasture was under five feet of water as of yesterday. He got all the cows up to high ground, except for two calves, before they got swept away.” He reports that floodwaters have reached five to six feet above the worst flood levels that he had ever seen previously.

Elsewhere in Nebraska, fifth generation cattle rancher Karina Jones had not only her herd to be concerned about, but her own children were stranded with relatives for several days due to floodwaters. “Today, I know the sun is shining on much of American,“ she said, speaking just a day or two after the “bomb cyclone” had moved through, “But, for those of us that are in Nebraska . . . we find more calves melting from underneath the snow that didn’t make it through the storm. Cattle are weakened after these days of cold precipitation and hurricane force winds.” Underscoring the gravity of the situation, she issued “a call to action for our government and the powers that be not to forget about us. We are going to need assistance; we are going to need help to get through this. Many cattle ranchers and farmers were already in financial peril before this storm, as working capital has been depleted the last few years, and this storm, this devastation, is going to put some operations under.”

Watch the videos above to get a more complete picture of the impact this historic storm is having on ag producers in the nation’s heartland.

For those who want to help, please contact one of the following relief organizations