Following the flood of 2019, Ed Nugent of Pates Farm near Moffett said he was able to plant most of his soybeans before the July 1 deadline for crop insurance, but it came with a lot of extra work.
Nugent said his team had to run a disc over the ground to turn about 4 inches of silt and sand and dry out the land enough to run a planter.
“We had to work the ground pretty hard this year,” Nugent said. “Usually we can do no-till."
Overall, Nugent said "we got lucky in Moffett."
Rain, after the floodwaters receded, further delayed replanting and crop insurance claims, though. There are also farmers who lease Pates Farm land who were not so lucky.
A neighbor of Nugent's — a farmer in the area around Paw Paw Bottoms — now has about 1,000 acres under several feet of sand, or is washed out from the flooding. The land is in a bend of the Arkansas River.
When the heaviest of the flooding came in June, Nugent said wheat was just weeks away from harvesting and corn had “tassled,” indicating pollination was on course. Pates Farm was flooded under about 7 feet of river water at the height of the flood. Many in the community, including the police and fire station, found Pates Farms shops high ground to store vehicles.
“The cattle ranchers had it worse,” Nugent said, explaining the method of claiming insurance for lost cattle calls for a witness who is not a family member or ranch hand.
While he has heard of some farmers in the area ready to retire after the flood of 2019, Pates Farms has been in his wife’s family since 1868 and Nugent, with his wife Burva Pates Nugent, have no plans to go anywhere.