James River Flood: Stole ‘the best crop in years’

Jason Kokes, Tabor, South Dakota (20 miles west of Yankton):

“We finished combining this field at the end of January 2019. The spring flooding brought a foot of water through in March and April. This made it very difficult to begin spring field work and planting. This field was planted into corn the first week of June.

“This would have been an amazing crop estimated at 220 bushels per acre but we cannot collect crop insurance on it. In Yankton County we are on enterprise units for crop insurance. In each county the enterprise program totals all your crop bushels by crop divided by your acres. “Therefore even though there is a total loss on this field, we have other acres with a higher yield. The result is that we will not collect any crop insurance on this loss.

“The result is a large financial loss to our family’s farming operation. Farmers dealing with flooded fields have not only the loss of a harvested crop but the expense of inputs of seed, chemical, fuel and fertilizer that will not be recovered. Reclaiming the land will be an added expense which involves removing debris and sand settlements on the field.

“The hardest part of this flooding is the hard work it took to get it planted. Low commodity prices are already causing hardship for farmers. This is the best crop we’ve had there in years and we certainly didn’t expect to lose it in September to flooding.

“There are many farmers along the Jim River who also lost livestock and buildings.”