Flooding along the Missouri River in 2011 is estimated to have caused at least $207 million in damages to crops and related economic activities in six western Iowa counties that border the river, according to a recently released study commissioned by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
The study analyzed the direct and indirect economic impacts from crop losses due to flooded fields in six Iowa counties, as well as lost wages and other impacts that would not occur because of lost crop income, said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. The study also factored in seed, fertilizer and other input costs that farmers had already invested in their 2011 corn and soybean crops before the damage to the fields. Potential crop insurance indemnity payments that farmers will receive and payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Revenue Assistance payments program were also taken into account.
The study found that Iowa's Fremont County suffered the highest losses at an estimated $52.2 million, including $43.9 million in direct crop income loss and $8.3 million indirect losses from the damaged fields. “This study shows the repercussions of the lost cropland and economic activity in these counties,” said Miller. “On a business level, farmers won’t be purchasing machines or inputs such as fertilizer for land. But there is also a household effect with reduced expenditures in those counties.”