In this file:
· Fundraising efforts underway for Nebraska flood victims
· 'It’s a mess': Dawes County feels frustrations over flooding — this time from snowstorms
· Yes, the Nebraska flooding WILL reach you
Fundraising efforts underway for Nebraska flood victims
By Amanda Radke, Special to Agweek
Apr 7, 2019
A devastating storm termed a "bomb cyclone" ripped through America's heartland in mid-March. A perfect storm of wind, rain and snow wreaked havoc on Nebraska and the surrounding region just as calving season had begun for many ranchers.
As dams broke, rivers swelled and entire cities were enveloped with raging waters, the destruction is ongoing weeks later.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is projecting at least 1 million calves lost by this natural disaster. Meanwhile, satellite data analyzed by Gro Intelligence for Reuters estimated that at least 1.1 million acres of farmland and 84,000 acres of pasture have been flooded.
In an interview with CBSN, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts called the flooding the "most widespread destruction we've ever seen in our state's history."
Ricketts said initial estimates show $400 million in livestock losses and $440 million in grain losses, with more to come as the road to recovery will be a long one.
And in the face of such massive and total loss, the agricultural community is quietly banding together to show its support. Using the hashtag #NebraskaStrong, many are organizing fundraisers and raising awareness about what these producers are facing.
Soon after the storm hit, the Nebraska Cattlemen launched the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund, with 100% of all donations received to be distributed to Nebraska's cattle producers who have been impacted by this weather event.
"We know the needs are great, and we hope this new fund will help Nebraska's cattle producers who are suffering," Mike Drinnin, Nebraska Cattlemen president, said in a press release.
Check donations can be made out to the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund and mailed to: Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund, 4611 Cattle Drive, Lincoln, NE 68521.
An online fundraiser organized by Jamie Glantz, a producer from Frederick, Colo. is rallying additional donations for the relief fund. Proceeds from each sale of a #NebraskaStrong mug or hat go directly toward the relief fund. So far, 86 items have been sold and $1,220 raised.
Orders can be placed online here: www.customink.com/fundraising/nebraska-strong-long-live-agriculture-mug
"Wanting to do more, we set out to design a logo that truly meant something to us," Glantz wrote. "These mugs and hats serve as a reminder that, 'Nebraska it's not for everyone.' Nebraskans are hardy. They don't need media notoriety. They don't take crisis and try to turn them into personal or political gain. They lower their heads and plow through, sometimes with tears flowing. These are for the hard working, kind hearted, help your neighbor kind of people, and they need your help unlike ever before! By purchasing a hat or mug, you will be helping those that put food on your table each and every day."
On a larger scale, Culver's pledged to donate...
more, including links
'It’s a mess': Dawes County feels frustrations over flooding — this time from snowstorms
By Marjie Ducey, BH News Service
via Scottsbluff Star-Herald (NE) - Apr 7, 2019
It’s a too-familiar story.
Roads washed out. Hungry cattle. Frustrated farmers and ranchers.
But in this case, it’s not unfolding in central or eastern Nebraska.
Dawes County in northwest Nebraska is hurting, too.
Although the White River did flood, the county’s misery started with 2˝ inches of rain on March 13, followed by 18 to 24 inches of snow. Then came another 8 to 12 inches of snow on March 29. It was raining again on Wednesday.
“It’s a mess,” said Chelsey Scherbarth, who ranches with husband John 18 miles southwest of Chadron.
Because the ground was still frozen, runoff from melting snow spread across the county, forcing the closure of 34 roads.
Some now have one lane available to local traffic, but officials are asking for out-of-town people to stay away.
A section of Table Road, which is crucial for many to reach Chadron, was under about 2 feet of water until Wednesday afternoon, when pumping began to clear the area.
“This is costing people a lot of money,” rancher Mike Manion said. “I understand this storm is worse than anybody has ever seen. But we need to get out and get these roads open.”
Fourteen to 18 crews are working across the county to open roads to local traffic. County officials have asked for federal disaster relief. They’ll be using anything left in the budget to finance repairs, then will move to contingency funds.
That’s little comfort to Manion, who, like many, can’t use heavy machinery to haul in feed for the 2,500 head of cattle on his 1,500 acres south of Chadron.
The Scherbarths rely on Table Road to get son Declan to kindergarten. Chelsey was afraid to tackle the roughly 200 yards of flooded road after her pickup started to float during a trip to school, so Declan has missed some classes.
John hauls cattle, hay and grain as a side job, but they can’t get their semitrailer truck home, which causes additional stress. Other families have been able to leave their property only by using four-wheelers.
“It’s been terrible,” Chelsey says. “It’s almost like a lake just covering our road. Our other options to get to town are mudholes. So we have no good way out.”
The warmer weather has begun to melt the icy ground, so water is starting to recede. That will allow crews to add gravel to stabilize the muddy roads.
Jake Stewart, a Dawes County Board member, hopes several will be open for local use by the end of the week.
Table Road has been a challenge because the flooded area is surrounded by wetlands, causing further frustration and questions about how to fix it.
After consulting some government agencies, Stewart said, the county will use irrigation pipes to drain off the road, leaving the wetlands undamaged...
Yes, the Nebraska flooding WILL reach you
By Annette Tait & Katie "Kate" Kassian, Agweek (ND)
Apr 6, 2019
We don't claim to be expert economists or financial folk. But we are pretty darn good consumers. And all it takes is common sense for a consumer to see how the flooding in Nebraska will reach so much farther than that state's boundaries.
Think about it. The exaggerated version has been done in holiday movies and TV shows for years. Someone just absolutely HAS to have the hottest toy that season for their kid/niece/nephew/grandchild. It's sold out online, so they start trying EVERY store in the area. The first few are sold out, until — thank goodness! — there's ONE left at the last place they look.
The problem? EVERYBODY wants it, and only ONE person will actually get it.
Yes, we know there will be more than one steak or pound of hamburger left in the nation. Other places produce livestock and grow crops. We'll all get our food from somewhere else. Right?
Not exactly. Let's start by taking a look at Nebraska's beef — and other livestock and crop — production. The state is a major player in the nation's agriculture industry. In 2017 Nebraska was ranked No. 1 in the nation for beef and beef product exports, and in 2018 it ranked No. 1 in the nation for commercial red meat production, No. 2 for all hay production, and No. 3 for corn exports. And that's just the tip of Nebraska's ag production iceberg. The state's producers are very good at what they do, and they share it with the nation and the world.
Or at least they were. And they did. Now, many Nebraska producers are only able to do whatever they can to clear away the flood's aftermath and figure out what they can salvage, if anything. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
In the meantime, much of our nation hasn't yet grasped that the damage will reach far beyond Nebraska's borders. We are spoiled by the wealth of our nation and our blessings of plenty, and we're not accustomed to suffering from short supplies.
Sure, our pocketbooks have taken a hit. Remember when gasoline prices climbed like crazy a few years back, and we griped and moaned about $4/gal. gas? BUT — it was still available, and we still bought it.
The key is "available."
A lot of what Nebraska grows helps support agriculture in other states. Ranchers in nearby states buy Nebraska corn to finish their cattle, or they send their cattle to finish in Nebraska feedlots. That's not going to happen this year.
And other Nebraska ag products — cattle and calves, corn, soybeans, hogs, dairy products, wheat, hay, eggs, potatoes and dry beans — aren't going to be shipped to other markets this year. The 40 percent of Nebraska's corn crop that's been used in past years to produce ethanol won't be going into our gas tanks any time soon, either.
And the money — from producers, elevators, truckers, implement dealers, farm and ranch supply stores, you name it — that usually goes to support Nebraskans' purchases both inside and outside state borders isn't going to contribute to the economy.
We don't expect to see groceries rationed in stores. But it won't surprise us one bit to see a little less on the shelves at higher prices than what we're used to...