Farmers watch as crops live or die - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Farmers watch as crops live or die

Ron Picray said more than 200 of his 310 acres were flooded Ron Picray said more than 200 of his 310 acres were flooded

MONTICELLO (KWWL) -- Once the water recedes, farmers will see whether the flood finished off any acres of crops.

The south fork of the Maquoketa River in Monticello was so high, that several acres of corn were completely submerged.

Now that the water has receded some, those fields are covered with silt and debris.

"Boy, I tell you, that sand just covered up everything down there," Monticello farmer Ron Picray said. "It's really sandy."

Picray said he's waiting to see whether his corn survived the aqua onslaught.

"Hopefully the corn will withstand it. If it doesn't turn white, why, it'll make it," Picray said. "But...I think it's had 61, 62 hours of being completely under water."

Picray has lived on the same land for the last 40 years.

"That's the highest I ever saw it," he said. "I think I can say it's five feet, top, on top of 2008."

"We have two major rivers going through Jones County, and the Maquoketa River is probably the worst flood we've seen, maybe the worst flood ever," Natural Resources Conservation Service regional conservationist Joe Wagner said. "The Wapsipinicon River is the same or maybe not quite as bad as it was in 2008. So it's pretty significant flooding all through the county."

"Boy, Friday morning I had a surprise, I had Lake Delhi right in front of me," Picray said.

Picray said of his 310 acres, more than 200 were flooded. His plight adds to a growing number.

"I would say several thousand acres or a few thousand," Wagner said, of Jones County crop loss. "Maybe three, four, five, six, seven thousand. We're not sure yet. We really won't know until flood waters go down."

Innovative Ag Services said corn can die after sitting underwater for as few as 24 hours, and soy beans are even more fragile.

"With the flood waters and the velocity that we see, some entire fields could be scoured out, and, really, you can't even reclaim that land," Wagner said. "The cost to reclaim it is more than the land is worth."

Officials say they'll see the full extent of damage come fall harvest.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

Powered by Frankly