MARYVILLE, Mo. — One of the wettest and most flood-prone springs in recent years has decimated northwest Missouri’s corn crop.

Wayne Flanary, an agronomist with University of Missouri Extension, whose service area includes Nodaway, Atchison and Holt counties, said Wednesday that only about 60 percent of the three-county region’s usual crop remains in the ground.

This week’s heavy rains reportedly washed away newly emerged plants in some fields. In addition, a lot of low-lying acreage along river bottoms from the One Hundred and Two River west to the Missouri is underwater.

The worst news is that most producers have probably already lost the fight against time.

Flanary said that by the time fields dry out sufficiently to work, the safe planting window for corn will be over.

However, what corn has been planted in flood-free fields has emerged, Flanary said, and will likely survive through harvest unless inundated by still more high water.

But for many farmers, the only ray of hope this year is crop insurance, which Flanary described as a crucial “safety net for growers.”

Turning to soybeans, Flanary estimated that between 5 and 10 percent of this year’s crop has been planted. However, beans have a longer planting window, and producers should be in good shape if they can get seeds in the ground by July 1.

And there is some hopeful news from the National Weather Service, which in its long-range forecast is projecting drier weather through June. 

In the short term, as a massive storm front moves to the east, look for somewhat clearer skies over at least the next few days, though a possibility for thunderstorms remains in the forecast Saturday and Sunday.

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Staff writer Anthony Brown can be reached at tbrown@maryvilledailyforum.com or by calling the newspaper at 660.562.2424.