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Farmers Are Facing Setbacks After Heavy Flooding This Week

Soybean plants in standing water because of flooding.

Farmers across the state are facing more setbacks after another round of heavy flooding this week.

Jim Lankford is a fifth-generation farmer in Morgan County. He’s seen a lot of floods, but not usually in July.

“It seems like anymore, it’s quite often, but normally not this time of year,” he says.

Generally, the period of heavy rainfall that farmers expect comes in spring, often before crops are in the ground. A midsummer flood can kill crops halfway through their growth cycle.

The record rainfall this week is the latest setback farmers are facing during an unusually wet summer. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Indiana has experienced about a half-inch more rainfall in just the past week than average.

Lankford says he won’t know the extent of the damage until as late as next spring. The prices he can get for his crops will depend on the success of crops in other states.

“This has probably been the most frustrating year I’ve had farming,” he says. “Iowa, Illinois, other areas, if they have a bumper crop, prices will be quite lower and we probably won’t make a profit.”

Lankford says floods on his farms are happening with greater frequency, and he worries that widespread development upstream could be contributing to the problem.

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