Heavy rains add to farm flooding in New Madrid, MO

Farmers dealing with flooding in New Madrid Co.

NEW MADRID, Mo. (KFVS) - Heavy rains are causing even more headaches for Heartland farmers who are already behind schedule because of the wet spring weather.

There was a lot of standing water in New Madrid County on Thursday, May 30 after strong storms from the previous day dumped seven inches of rainfall according to the National Weather Service.

Mark Baker has farmed in the area for 26 years and drove through the torrential downpour.

"It just continued to pour and pour and pour,” Baker said. “It made you a little bit nervous about staying on the road.”

The extra rain filled numerous low-lying ditches and about half of one of Baker’s cotton fields which was recently planted.

Baker said he might have to replant some of the cash crop that is currently underwater.

"It's so much money to raise an acre of cotton,” Baker said. “You can't be taking a big risk of keeping a sick crop and hoping you are going to nurse it back to health and make enough to cover your expenses. Probably not."

Baker has already been dealing with flooded farm lands this spring.

More than 2,000 acres of his soybean fields have been underwater for months due to the swollen Mississippi River.

"Last year we had all the beans planted by this time of year. We were done,” Baker said. “This year we haven't planted a bean, and I don't know when we are going to get to plant a bean, but I know this we will plant beans all the way up and until the first of August."

Even though a lot of work is left Baker said he is motivated to break even this planting season because his family and the families of his workers depend on it.

“There is a lot of stress,” he said. “We started with a plan during the winter of what you’re going to plant where, and i probably think we are on our 15th plan at least now. The one thing you don’t do is give up in this line of work. We’ll fight to the end and then see if we can fight again next year.”

Baker said his farm staff is prepared to run their machines day and night to get a crop in, but for now farmers like him are still waiting for dry stretch of weather and the river to go down.

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