Farmers vs. Flooding
The effects of flooding can already be seen at local Cash farmer Joe Christian’s farm.
Christian says flooding has been a battle he’s been dealing with for the last 35 years, “It used to flood and not be near as bad but it was still take a couple weeks to go down. It wouldn’t be this deep but it’s just got worse and worse and worse”.
Flooding can cause an array of problems for farmers like delayed planting and harvesting, causing replants, or weakening the quality of crops.
Farmers along Highway 226 especially see this problem.
Cache River Valley Seed, general manager Marty Eiton says it’s still early too see how much the current flooding will affect them.
“We’re not really gonna be planting rice till April. So if it quit raining now everything would be fine. But I’m sure we’re gonna have some field roads washed out or pipes washed out that need to be repaired that type of thing. You know levies that need to be repaired”, said Eiton.
In 2017 the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture reported that there was over $64 million in crop flood damage across the state.
The Cache River South of Grubbs, Arkansas tends to flood quicker since they do not have cleared out drainage.
“The water gets here a lot quicker than it used too. It can’t go any further South, much further South cause it hits a big log jam towards Grubbs and so even though it’s cleaned out from here North that just means the flood water gets here quicker”, said Eiton.
Some agencies won’t let farmers clean out the river, due to concerns about the environmental impact it will have.
Christian is hoping to work with the state representatives to make a compromise on the issue, “I’m saying let’s fix it so there’s less impact on everybody it can be done”.