390% Flooding increase in Midwestern U.S 2018 vs. 2019

2019 Flooding Iowa

Floodwaters spread across the town of Hamburg, Iowa, in March. Tim Gruber for The New York Times.   

Named by The New York Times, ‘The Great Flood of 2019’, the Midwestern United States experienced severe flooding in the spring of 2019. The flooding was primarily along the Missouri River, flowing through the states of Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, Iowa and Kansas.

The period of January through to June 2019 was the wettest on record for the U.S, with multiple severe weather outbreaks.

Nearly 14 million people in the midwestern and southern states were affected by the flooding, and over 1 million acres of U.S. farmland, in nine major grain producing states flooded.

Due to the excessive rainfall throughout Spring, many fields were still flooded or too moist to plant, causing many farmers to abandon planting. Prevented planting and unsuccessful crop growth due to the soil conditions led to a severe yield shortfall for 2019.

Although it varies by state, early June is the latest corn can be planted, and mid-June is the latest for soybeans. After that, temperatures climb too high, and rain falls too little for the crop to be successful.

In these circumstances, crop insurance adjusters are sent out into the field to assess the severity and extent of the damage. However, this can take substantial time, especially on such a large scale, therefore slowing the claims process.

Midwestern Flooding 2018 vs 2019

PlanetWatchers Midwestern Flooding 2018 vs. 2019 analysis using SAR led analysis.

Using SAR (synthetic aperture radar) led analysis, we were able to automate this process to deliver the full extent of the damage and deliver results in just 1 hour.

Download the full case study here https://www.planetwatchers.com/download-pdf-cropcycle/.

In comparison to the 2019 Spring flooding, we reviewed the same area for Spring 2018. The increase in flooding was phenomenal, with an increase of 390%

Within an hour we assessed the total flooded acreage by agricultural and non-agricultural.
We were able to provide analysis of the crop type by acre, and evaluate the acreage of prevented planting which increased by over 1600% Spring 2018 vs. 2019. 

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