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Fields looking like lakes for many Arkansas farmers after heavy flooding

Floodwaters after heavy rain have left many with damage to clean up, and for farmers, it's getting bad.

PRAIRIE COUNTY, Ark. — For those on the eastern side of Arkansas, this past week hasn't been easy.

Floodwaters after heavy rain have left many with damage to clean up, and for farmers, it's getting bad.

"This farm has about 1,850 acres on it," Jackie Prince, a soybean farmer in Prairie County said. "Out of the 1,850 acres, I would estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,650 to 1,700 had water on it."

Heavy rains flooded the farm he's been cultivating since he was a kid.

"My grandfather farmed this ground, I picked up chunks on it when I was a little kid when they first cleared it up," Prince said. "I've personally been at this about 42 years."

Right now should be a perfect time for him, but the rains have kept him grounded. Floodwaters have made his fields look like lakes and ponds.

"For the first time in four or five years, it looks really good for the farm economy," Prince said. "Then the rug just gets pulled out from under you because of Mother Nature."

Some spots of his fields have less than 8 inches of water on them – those are more manageable – but others are up to three feet deep.

"Exactly like a kick in the gut," he said.

For family owned farms like Princes, it's not an easy fix.

"We'll have to play it by ear, you've got to get the water off the land, then you've got to let the land dry on top, then we've got to get the subsoil moisture dry enough to where it'll hold the equipment up," he said. "So it's a kind of day-by-day, play it by ear kind of scenario."

This time of year could possibly be one of the worst for Prince. He grows soybeans, and the end of June is generally the latest he'd plant, in order to still have crops come harvest season.

"If we lose two-thirds of the farm this year, with the price of commodities and all, we're looking at over a million dollars loss," Prince said.

It's tough staring something like that in the face, but farmers like Prince are tough. It might be a struggle, but they'll make it through.

"It is. It is, it's absolutely infuriating. They say no sense crying over spilled milk, there's nothing you can do about it," he said. "A farmer is the most optimistic person in the world, next years always going to be better."

Initial data released by the Arkansas Farm Bureau last week estimates between 5 and 10% of soybeans will go unplanted in the state because of this round of flooding.