Some Nebraska corn fields are so flooded that farmers are posting videos of themselves wakeboarding. The image is amusing, but the realities of the heavy spring downpours are pummeling U.S. grain farmers with soggy fields and threats of crop disease.
In the past 30 days, about 40 percent of the Midwest got twice the amount of normal rainfall, with soils saturated from Arkansas to Ohio, according to MDA Weather Services. While spring showers usually benefit crops, the precipitation has come fast enough to flood some corn and rice fields and trigger quality concerns about maturing wheat.
“I’ve never seen that much water on that field,” said Quentin Connealy, a Tekamah, Nebraska, farmer who posted a wakeboarding video on social media after 4.8 inches of rain (12 centimeters) fell from May 16 to May 20, creating ponds of standing water in the area. Planting at the farm had started about three weeks later than normal because of cool, wet weather, and now will be pushed back again. “We’re losing days, ” he said in a telephone interview.