Sep 27, 2016

Flooding sucker-punches Iowa harvest

Palo, IA
USA
by
Donnelle Eller
,
Des Moines Register
A dairy farm is surrounded by floodwaters on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, outside of Clarksville. Photo: Brian Powers, The Register
A dairy farm is surrounded by floodwaters on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, outside of Clarksville. Photo: Brian Powers, The Register

Dan Zumbach lost 50 acres of corn when the Cedar River flooded. Yet he considers himself lucky.

Most of his 160 acres would have been lost if not for family, friends and neighbors who gathered Saturday with combines, grain carts and semitrailer trucks to harvest a field near Palo. They worked from noon until 11 p.m. before the rising waters forced them to quit.

"I didn't ask for help. Neighbors asked neighbors, and they just showed up," said Zumbach, a Republican state lawmaker who lives near Ryan. "There's no way I could have done that by myself."

Iowa's widespread thunderstorms and torrential rains have done more than flood Iowa's cities and towns. They have also slowed much of the state's corn and soybean harvest...

Even before the flooding, U.S. farm income was forecast to fall 12 percent this year to $71.5 billion from a year ago, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates...

"A lot of folks don’t realize the huge investment farmers have in a crop, and with a disaster like this … you go backward. It's tens of thousands of dollars," Zumbach said