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A heavily tilled field showing signs of severe topsoil loss due to erosion. Next to it, there is a no-till field with no noticeable signs of erosion.

Multiple Rounds of Severe Weather Bring Heavy Rainfall, High Winds, and Soil Erosion

A combination of tillage, no residue, and lack of crop canopy can lead to severe erosion and topsoil loss in the face of extreme weather patterns in the spring. The most effective strategy for producers to adapt to these extreme events is to improve soil health.

A sprawling, planted field with young crops emerging

Fall Cover Crops Boost Soil Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Which Can Lead To Reduced Inputs

Fall cover crops provide multiple benefits to producers. These benefits include pathogen and pest protection, drought protection, weed control, reduced soil erosion, nutrient acquisition and retention, increased soil organic matter, and conservation of soil water by improvement of soil structure that increases infiltration and water holding capacity.

aerial view of a flooded farm in late winter. FEMA News Photo

Inundaciones: sugerencias útiles

La primavera en el Medio Oeste siempre trae el riesgo de inundaciones, sea por la nieve que se derrite o por lluvia en exceso.

Map of South Dakota with colored dots indicating river stage levels.

Where to Find Weather and River Forecasts

Weather and flooding concerns can develop and change rapidly. There are some excellent resources for real-time information for weather forecasts and river flooding that can be accessed online.

A car being towed a flooded, washed out gravel road by a national guard truck. Photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp, U.S. Department of Defense

Floodwater: Road Crossing Hazards

During flooding, and when driving in the countryside we oftentimes encounter a creek or stream running on top of the road. Be aware that a course of water running over the road can turn into a very dangerous, even life-threatening situation if you attempt to cross it with your vehicle.

A flooded garden

Flooded Gardens

Soil from gardens that were recently flooded may not be safe for growing fruit and vegetables this summer. Depending on the location, flood waters may contain contaminants or disease-causing organisms.

Rain shower over a field with several hay bales throughout. Courtesy: Krista Lundgren, USFWS

Fire Hazard in Wet Bales

Baled stored hay can get wet during spring as a result of melting snow or rainwater. These bales are also more susceptible to heating as they constitute and ideal substrate for microorganisms.

green plant leaf with white, powdery growth throughout

Plant Problems in Cool, Wet Soil

Wet, cool soils are prime conditions for many plant diseases to thrive. Lear more about some of the most-common cool, wet weather problems.

three grain bins in a flooded farm yard. Photo by John Shea, FEMA

Stored Grains and Flooding

According to the Food and Drug Administration, grain inundated by watercourses is considered adulterated and must be destroyed. The portion of the grain that is not affected by the water can still be salvaged for its use.

a flooded wheat field with some emerging wheat plants.

Wet Feet in Wheat

Given the widespread wet conditions present this spring, there are many areas in winter wheat fields with both ponding and saturated (or waterlogged) soils. Producers may want to consider soil conditions and evaluate extended weather forecasts when deciding whether or not to retain a winter wheat this spring.