The National Agricultural Statistics Service will release its 2008 Crop Acreage report on Monday, June 30. However, the report's data was collected prior to the flooding that swept across several Midwest states — where the majority of the nation's corn is grown.
USDA officials plan to re-interview farmers this week — ahead of the acreage report — to assess the effect of heavy rains and flooding in the Midwest. USDA will contact farmers in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin to determine their plans for how much acreage they will harvest for grain. A more detailed report will also be conducted in July after producers have had an opportunity to assess damage and reevaluate harvesting plans.
Estimates of the Midwest floods suggest this could be the region’s biggest disaster in decades, surpassing the $21 billion lost in the 1993 flood. Some have even called the floods a "Katrina-like disaster," referring to the 2005 hurricane that hit New Orleans.
Indiana's agriculture director Andy Miller said the floods were the greatest economic catastrophe in the state's history. In Iowa, 83 counties have been declared disaster areas. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation says flood waters have claimed about 20 percent of Iowa's grain acres; that's about 1.3 million acres of corn and 2 million acres of soybeans. The American Farm Bureau Federation says crops have incurred more than $8 billion in estimated weather-related damage thus far in 2008.