Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Farming After the Flood

Flooding events in 2011 and previous years have greatly impacted America’s prime farmland. Floodwaters left sediment and debris, eroded large parts of producers’ fields and, in many cases, left land devastated.

“Strategies to rebuild the soil, the foundation of all agricultural production, are essential to ensure that agricultural lands impacted by the floods are productive again,” said Congressman, Tom Latham (IA-4), co-chair of the Congressional Soils Caucus. “Sediment and debris removal and reconstruction of fields after erosion can be extremely costly. It is essential to have strategies and programs in place that assist producers in this regard.”

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) sponsored a Congressional educational briefing, “Farming after the Flood”, on October 26th. The briefing focused on the impacts, mitigation approaches, and costs related to farmland flooding. The three speakers providing information on these main aspects of flooding included:

• Scott Olson, a farmer from Tekamah, Nebraska (NE), discussed the economic and environmental impacts that flooding has had on his family operated corn and soybean farm, as well as on other producers in Burt County, NE located near the Missouri River. Since May 28, Scott has documented the 2011 Missouri River Flood with over 3,000 aerial photographs. You can find photos of the flood at:

• John Wilson, an extension educator with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, discussed the common problems farmers encounter in post-flood recovery and presented a series of management options for addressing these challenges. John co-leads a team of extension staff from Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to reclaim agricultural land devastated by the 2011 Missouri River Flood. Archives of related webinar presentations are located at:

• James Callan, a crop insurance consultant, provided insight into the Federal crop insurance program that is available to mitigate the negative economic impacts from flooding damage and crop yield losses. James served six years in USDA, from 2003 to 2009, in the capacity of Chief of External Affairs, Associate Administrator, and Acting Administrator of the Risk Management Agency, which collectively administer the multi-billion dollar Federal crop insurance program.

During the briefing, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), a member of the Congressional Soils Caucus, stated, "Scott and John are acutely aware of the economic impacts of the flooding and I appreciate that they took the time to visit D.C. to share their experience with members and staff here." He continued, saying "We have spent considerable time with the communities up and down the Missouri River to serve as a conduit of information on the recovery of economic losses incurred from the flood. It seems like the local communities have been working with the State in the good spirit of cooperation that still runs strong in Nebraska."

Many agricultural fields will need to undergo a significant recovery process, including the removal of sediment from fields, if crop yields are to recover. In many cases, the soil is physically damaged; therefore gullies need to be filled and top soil replaced. ‘Flooded soil syndrome’, a condition which occurs when flooding results in fields devoid of plant roots and decreases soil microbial and fungal populations, is also a serious problem. One way to stimulate soil microbial and fungal activity is to plant cover crops. Cover crops protect the soil from erosion, improve the structure for soil, conserve below-ground moisture, and provide a habitat for soil biology. Federal conservation and insurance programs can help offset some of the costs of mitigating the impacts of flooding. As producers seek to offset their losses from the flood, support for these programs is foremost on their minds. Cooperative extension, education, and research have been fundamental for providing producers with information on how to deal with this unique and devastating situation.

To view a PDF of the PowerPoint presentations from the “Farming after the Flood” educational briefing, please visit: To view the one-page summary developed for the briefing, please see:

The Soil Science Society of America sponsors joint educational briefings with other organizations several times a year. To view information from those briefings see:

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science, providing information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use. For more information, visit

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services. For more information, visit

James Giese | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>