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HEADS ABOVE WATER -- Flooding in rice in Philips County, Arkansas, forces hungry
army worms to cling to rice to keep heads above water. Taken July 2, 2014. (U of
Arkansas System Division of Agriculture photo by Robert Goodson)
August 29, 2014
LITTLE ROCK – Flooding has caused $35.6 million in lost crop value, but the full extent
of the damage won’t be known until after harvest, according to economists with the
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
The study was conducted by Brad Watkins, and Archie Flanders, respectively professor
and assistant professor of economics for the Division of Agriculture. It is based
on information collected by county extension agents of the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture.
The two examined damage done by flooding that began in June in Craighead, Crittenden,
Cross, Jackson, Lee, Monroe, Poinsett, Prairie, St. Francis, and Woodruff counties.
In that 10-county area, floods affected 210,400 farm acres.
While the flooding this year was not as widespread as in 2011, “the timing of the
floods this year occurred late enough that replant options were limited and highly
risky,” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the University of Arkansas
and head of the U of A System Division of Agriculture.
By comparison, the 2011 flooding on the Mississippi and its tributaries cost Arkansas
crop farmers $335 million in damage.
“This year’s damage can be categorized into four general classes: total loss with
no replant; costs of replanting the same or alternate less profitable crop; yield
losses and increased production costs due slowed crop development and late planting
date; and prevented plantings,” Cochran said, adding that “while preliminary estimates
are available from some damage, a more complete estimate will be possible only after
harvest yields are available.”
Four types of loss
The study outlined four classes where value was lost:
Value loss by crop
Flanders and Watkins found that soybeans suffered the most, with losses pegged at
$28.4 million. In other crops, value losses were:
Value loss by county
Monroe, Poinsett, and Woodruff counties had the greatest value losses with each having
more than $4.5 million in losses. They were followed by:
Effects into 2015
The effects of crop value losses will ripple into next year’s growing season, the
“Value losses in areas susceptible to flooding will negatively impact total farm profitability
as commodity prices are decreased in 2014, and producers were already working with
diminished profit margin potential,” said Flanders. “Value losses will have a negative
impact on the producers’ ability to repay loans and meet long-term obligations.”
“With prices projected to remain low, losses due to flooding this year could impact
the ability of producers to obtain operating loans for the 2015 production year,”
Watkins said that flood damage can also have ramifications on the likelihood of crop
insurance indemnities being paid.
“Unlike drought, which can more uniformly affect an entire insurance unit -- the acreage
covered by crop insurance for a specific crop -- flood damage is often more area-specific,”
he said. “It is possible for a portion of the covered crop acreage to be lost to flood
damage without any indemnity payments being triggered.
“For example, a producer could lose a field of a particular covered crop to flood,
but the actual crop yield for the entire insurance unit inclusive of the flood-damaged
field could still be high enough not to trigger a crop insurance indemnity,” Watkins
Summaries of the 2013 crop yield and other production information may be found here:
The study may be found online:
For more information about agricultural economics, visit http://uaex.uada.edu/farm-ranch/economics-marketing/default.aspx.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Mary HightowerU of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com