From a drought to flooding: Northwest Missouri farmers fight unpredictable weather

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CALDWELL COUNTY, Mo. — Nine months ago, much of Northeast Missouri was was dealing with extreme drought conditions.

Now, the areas that suffered some of  the worst parts of the drought are getting hit the hardest by flooding.

“It’s frustrating. I’ve experienced the extremes both ways, but to have them in one year, within six months — it’s tough,” said Michael Pollard, a farmer and president of Caldwell County’s Missouri Farm Bureau Association. “Not been able to get the work done we want. We’re running out of time, honestly.”

Pollard’s farm is located in Caldwell County, one of the areas where the drought was so severe, people faced water restrictions.

He was praying for rain to fall about nine months ago. Now, he said the rain won’t stop.

“While water is important for seed germination, too much water is not,” Pollard said.

He knows he’s not the only farmer poised to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars this season.

Pollard said less than half of his normal soybean crops are currently in the ground, and nationally, the Missouri Farm Bureau estimates farmers have planted barely over half of the expected corn acres across the United States.

Pollard said if the soil doesn’t dry in time, it could cause have big effects for consumers.

“It is already. The market last Friday decided we had a problem. It has really started to move. The market has already started to move,” he said.

Pollard is remaining optimistic, but he said right now, Mother Nature is not his friend.

“I’m not saying it’s the worst I’ve seen, but it’s right up there with it,” he said. “And if it keeps on, it will be.”

Pollard said his bean fields are around two weeks behind schedule. He said the window to plant his crops is shrinking every day.



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