The entire Midwest is facing one of the worst flooding events to date, submerging huge landmasses, farms, and ranches in Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and nearby areas. Nebraska is among the worst hit areas, and sadly for the local farmers and ranchers, the financial losses are already in millions of dollars.
How did it happen?
Heavy downpours and snow melting in the region caused massive floods in the state. Locals were nothing but shocked to see large floating ice chunks crushing through barns and ranches. In the case of Nebraska, the failure of 90-year old Spencer Dam coupled with downpours and melting ice made the floods even worse. The flood has already drowned several small villages and has resulted in thousands of evacuation across the region.
Analyzing the financial impact of Nebraska floods
According to the initial observations, the devastating economic effects of these floods in Nebraska are estimated to be around $500 million in ranches and $400 million in grain losses, respectively. Furthermore, the impact of floods is not limited to these direct financial losses, but the entire infrastructure for agriculture has incurred damages. The New York Times has reported damages to the rail lines and road networks used for trading and transportation purposes. As the second-largest cattle state in the country, the floods in Nebraska are likely to have a direct impact on an average American’s food expenses.
Not the only financial crisis for farmers
To the average reader, these floods might appear to be the only immediate challenge in front of the farmers; however, the truth couldn’t be any further. The ongoing trade war with China has already put massive financial stress on the US agriculture industry. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture promised food purchases worth $1.2 billion half-a-year ago, their actual purchase orders stand at only 11% of the promised amount.
Additionally, the financial stress of American farmers has become a topic of national discussion. Records indicate that Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection filing figures in the Midwest rose 19% in the last year, highest levels in over a decade. The New York Times report included personal comments from several farmers discussing their ever-growing financial stress.
With the initial economic losses close to $1 billion, these figures are likely to rise over the next coming days. Experts are opined that these floods, coupled with other financial challenges, will affect farmers for the next several years. The upcoming years are likely to overburden farmers with additional financial stress.