Flooding in Arkansas causes estimated $64.5 million in cropland damages

STUTTGART, Ark. (KTHV) - Major flooding across the state has affected nearly 940,000 acres of cropland and the damage is estimated at $64.5 million, according to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

In the last decade, Arkansas farmers have been hit hard by severe weather in the state. An estimated $40 to $50 million of row crops was lost just in 2016 due to heavy rain. In 2012, beef cattle producers suffered around $128 million in losses from a drought in the state.

The estimate was put together by Jarrod Hardke, an extension rice agronomist for the school's Division of Agriculture and several other agents and agronomists.

"If those numbers scare you, you should be terrified," Hardke said. "I'm being conservative. There's no sugar-coating it."

The estimate stated that rice was the hit the hardest by the storms, with somewhere around 156,000 acres of rice being lost. According to a National Agricultural Statistics Service report, 89 percent of the state's 1.2 million acres of rice had already been planted and 71 percent of that rice had emerged.

Losses of soybeans were 83,200 acres, corn at 47,900, and cotton at 9,300. Roughly 32 percent of the planted soybeans had emerged.

"Anything that's still covered in water at the end of next week is a loss, and farmers need to make preparations for it to be gone and be ready to take action whenever it dries," Hardke said.

A total of 23 counties are expected to have some amount of cropland affected by the rain and flooding. Prairie and Poinsett counties were the hardest hit, with Prairie estimated to lose 125,000 acres of crop while Poinsett is set to lose around 340,000 acres.

For more information on crop production, you can visit: http://arkansascrops.com

[Source: U of A System Division of Agriculture]

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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