Missouri River farmers offered advice on “reclaiming” flooded farmland

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Farmers along the Missouri River are getting advice on reclaiming their land from receding floodwaters. Crop specialists from Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska spoke Monday with farmers gathered at 20 computer linked sites in Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri and Nebraska. ISU Ag engineer Shawn Shouse,  says, in some cases, sand may be washed too deep over farmland to be moved. “In severe cases, if the sand is extremely thick, the cost of moving the sand may get to the point where you want to consider selective abandonment of small areas that have extremely deep deposits of sand – as opposed to moving that sand off,” Shouse said.

Aside from sand, farmers along the Missouri River are clearing flood debris from their land. Paul Jasa, with the University of Nebraska, advised farmers to get a cover crop on the barren land as quickly as possible this fall to restore the soil’s microbial activity. He noted, however, seeds for those cover crops are in short supply. Jasa said a lot of cover crop seeds that are normally available in the Midwest have been sent to drought-ridden Texas. For some farmers, Jasa said recovering the farmland to productivity may take another season.

(Radio Iowa)