Floods may be last straw for many US MidWest farmers

Battling US MidWest cattle producers hit by devastating floods


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A flooded cornfield near Ashland, Nebraska. Crop farmers' losses have been estimated at hundreds of million of dollars. Photo: Ryan Soderlin/Omaha World-Herald via AP

A flooded cornfield near Ashland, Nebraska. Crop farmers' losses have been estimated at hundreds of million of dollars. Photo: Ryan Soderlin/Omaha World-Herald via AP

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Ice chunks the size of small cars from nearby rivers have ploughed through barns and farm houses.

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Cattle producers have been hard hit in Nebraska and Iowa as disastrous floods sweep across the US Midwest.

The floods have hit right in the middle of calving season as cattle producers battle to rescue animals from freezing floodwaters and mud and find emergency feed. Many thousands of calves have been lost.

Ice chunks the size of small cars from nearby rivers have ploughed through barns and farm houses and covered paddocks. In some cases the ice will take months to melt.

Huge chunks of ice have been pushed out of rivers in Nebraska and Iowa into villages and farms. Photo: Jeff Bundy/Omaha World-Herald via AP

Huge chunks of ice have been pushed out of rivers in Nebraska and Iowa into villages and farms. Photo: Jeff Bundy/Omaha World-Herald via AP

The record floods have taken a huge toll on Midwest crop farmers and livestock producers already struggling with low incomes, rising bankruptcies and the consequences of President Trump's trade policies.

Rail lines and roads have been washed away, trains stranded in floodwaters and towns inundated. Some farms have been isolated.

Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, said the disaster could cost the state's livestock sector $US400 million.

Nebraska Farm Bureau President, Steve Nelson, said it was too early for an accurate estimate of the damage but ranching losses in the state could be $500 million and row crops at another $400 million.

A weather phenomenon scientists have dubbed a "bomb cyclone" hit the western Rocky Mountains and US Central Plains last week showering snow and rains on Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota.

US President Donald Trump described the floods as "devastating" and said the White House would keep in contact with state officials.

The story Floods may be last straw for many US MidWest farmers first appeared on Farm Online.

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