Rescuing farmland after a flood

 When levees fail, either naturally or as an intentional breach, as was the case on the Mississippi River in 2011, an orchestrated effort is made to remove or repair flood-damaged homes and other structures. A University of Illinois soil scientist believes that an equivalent  effort should be coordinated to assess soil damages, including how flooding has affected soil productivity and land used for agriculture.

“The United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi River Commission, and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service should develop an agreement to immediately update the soil survey maps, conduct a land scouring and deposition survey (commonly done now by USDA, NRCS), and create a soil conservation plan to ensure a rapid federal response after every levee breach and subsequent flooding event,” said Ken Olson.

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