Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), the state’s largest grassroots farm organization, launched the Farming Community Disaster Exchange where Iowans can offer help to those impacted by the floods or to seek assistance. The online exchange, which can be found at IowaFarmBureau.com/floods, is a place where Iowans can offer goods and services to those who need it most.
“As Iowans fight their way through this $2 billion devastation, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open, and that’s what we are offering through our online exchange,” says IFBF President Craig Hill. “We’ve had calls from around the country from folks willing to donate goods and services. This exchange is a way to connect those people with farmers and Iowans in need impacted by the floods. It’s not just what they need right now, such as assistance for clean-up, hay for their livestock or fresh water for their homes if their wells were contaminated. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), flooding may peak again once snow melts make their way down river, and other needs such as sump pumps or heavy excavation equipment to move sand off their flooded fields may also be needed. We hope the Exchange will be the place where Iowans and others come together to help each other.”
The latest damage estimates from IFBF crop experts show the areas impacted are more extensive than the 2011 Missouri River flooding, where more than 127,000 crop acres were lost.
This year’s planting challenges may not be the only thing impacting agriculture. “Iowa livestock farmers are also having a tough time navigating flood-damaged roads to feed their animals or to take them to market. Maybe their trucks got stuck in the mud or their tractors got damaged from floods. All these challenges can also be opportunities for Iowans to embrace the ‘see a need/fill a need’ approach, which will help us all get through this,” says Hill.