Atchison County flooding

Atchison County flood picture

(Tarkio) -- Record-breaking flooding expected in northwest Missouri will be felt by farmers for months. Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst tells Missourinet the damage to the infrastructure will be a struggle.

“The difficulties in travel. The difficulties in moving grain, moving fertilizer, moving seed. We have visited with several people that had seed stored over there for the spring season. They had to move it out,” he says. “It will be hard to get fertilizer to northwest Missouri from the west.”

Hurst has farm land in Atchison County’s Tarkio. He says his land luckily has not been damaged but 20 miles down the road near Rock Port is a different story.

“It will be hard, a lot of us deliver grain to a big elevator over there west of Rockport that sits on the bottom,” Hurst says. “They’re not going to have any way to get grain away. The roads are going to be washed out. The railroads are going to be washed out.”

The Missouri Department of Transportation says Interstate 29 remains closed from the Missouri/Iowa border all the way to St. Joseph.

Hurst says the flood event is worse for farmers than the 2011 flood.

“One of the things that happened this time, which I think is a little unique and really kind of frightening is that this happened without warning,” says Hurst. “In 2011, as bad as that was, the farmers over there had some time to get grain out, to get their machinery to higher ground.”

Hurst thinks most area farmers were able to get their tractors and combines to higher ground but not their grain.

“Particularly soybeans, when they come in contact with water, they swell up. The steel bins that they’re stored in will literally just split along the sides of the bins and just collapse. We’re going to see that happen all up and down that Missouri River bottom,” he says.

Some area farmers will have to wait and see how the flooding problems impact their planting season. Hurst says most of the area affected is crop land – not cattle ground.

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