ASA Listens To Missouri River Farmers' Concerns

Farmers are worried about levees being rebuilt.

Published on: Aug 16, 2011

Farmers from states along the Missouri River met with the American Soybean Association and the Iowa Soybean Association recently to express their concerns following the devastating flooding they've seen in the Missouri River Valley.

"There was a small group of farmers representing farmers up and down the Missouri River in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri who really wanted to visit with us about their concerns and their needs," ASA Vice President Ray Gaesser said. "They are really afraid that the media will forget them, that legislators will forget them and nothing will happen to solve their issues with flooding on the Missouri River and help them through the devastation they've seen there."

A major concern the farmers shared with Gaesser deals with the Army Corps of Engineers and the near-term need for the Corps to officially say that they will rebuild the levees. Without that statement crop insurance will be very difficult to get or very expensive to get, so that is the near-term need, that the Army Corps of Engineers establish a budget and makes a statement that they are committed to rebuild the levees.

Gaesser reports that the farmers he spoke with also questioned why the reservoir pool was established at a level that left only 25% of its capacity for flood control.

"The reservoir capacity in the upper part of the Missouri River is about 75 million acre feet and the historic pool level has been about 36 million acre feet," Gaesser said. "But recently the Corps or someone established that the reservoir level could be maintained at 57 million acre feet and that only leaves about 25% of capacity for flood control, so there is a real concern of how that number was established, what the criteria was for the change, and why they would do that."