Eldon flooded field

OTTUMWA — Flooding kept more than 14 million acres of Midwestern cropland from being successfully planted in 2019, accounting for nearly three out of every four acres nationally farmers were unable to plant.

Heavy rains in the Midwest and the flooding they caused were the biggest culprit behind what the U.S. Department of Agriculture said was the highest amount of unplanted land since the USDA’s Farm Service Agency first released its reports on the subject in 2007.

The USDA report said more than 19.4 million acres went unplanted this year, an incredible jump from the approximately 1.91 million acres at this time in 2018.

Iowa farmers planted 27.2 million acres this year. As with most years, corn and soybeans were dominant.

Iowa farmers were prevented from planting 463,517 acres of farm land. That pales compared to the total planted acres, but the losses were not spread evenly.

Carroll County farmers planted more than 332,000 acres and were prevented from planting only 25 acres. Compare that to Fremont County, which saw farmers prevented from planting more than 49,000 acres of land.

The federal figures suggest the weather denied Wapello County farmers more than 7,000 acres of crops, the highest figure of any local county. Van Buren County, downstream on the Des Moines River, was second with 6,493 acres in which farmers were prevented from planting.

— Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner


Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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