Emergency Crop Meetings Help Producers Make Decisions during the Floods of 2008

Jim Fawcett, Extension Field Agronomist, Southeast

Problem Statement:

Cropping decisions need to be made quickly when disaster hits, such as with the field flooding that occurred in 2008. Excess rainfall delayed the planting of many corn and soybean fields and also resulted in lost crops and lost nitrogen. Growers needed guidance during this stressful time to help make an informed decision on the best course of action.

Programmatic Response: 

A series of “Floods of 2008 - Crop Decisions” emergency sessions were held around the area, starting on June 12, the date of the devastating Cedar Rapids flood. I presented at 5 meetings in SE area, along with other ag field specialists. Potential yields with delayed planting, replanting options, cover crops for unplanted fields, nitrogen fertilizer losses, and crop insurance options were some of the topics covered.


About 40 affected crop producers attended the first session in Vinton on June 12. Many of them had just finished helping with sandbagging to try to save the town. Despite their efforts the power station was flooded, meaning the entire town was without electricity so the meeting had to be moved from a church basement to the sanctuary, where a little light was present from the windows. Having to conduct the meeting without powerpoint or other visual crutches probably increased the interaction with the participants and led to a better learning opportunity. A total of 125 attended the 5 sessions that I was involved with, including the media that helped to get information out to others affected by the floods.


100 Corn & Soybean Production

Page last updated: April 16, 2009
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu