Crops left destroyed after flooding in Stephenson County

Water covers acres of farmland from one of the largest downpours in a decade.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Months of hard work was completely destroyed for farmers across Stephenson County, after their crops were left covered in flood water from one of the largest downpours in a decade.

Wendell DeVries says his grandfather bought the family farm in 1939, and in the fifteen years since DeVries has taken over, it’s flooded six times.

“We lost probably twenty five percent of our crop from the farm,” said DeVries. “It’s totally submerged under 16, 17 feet of water, and there will be nothing harvested from it this year.”

The loss of crop, leading to a major loss in revenue, an amount both DeVries and Greg Miller say makes it impossible to break even.

“Even though we have insurance, we have to buy out the contracts,” said Stephenson County Farmer Greg Miller. “So basically, we’re going to eat the expense.”

But Miller says, when the water first started to pour into his land, money was the last thing on his mind.

“It was about 100 yards wide, so our cattle was stranded on the other side of the farm,” said Miller. Thankfully, Miller’s livestock is okay.

Growing up with farming, Miller says losing animals or loved ones is his biggest concern, and he’s seen it happen in other natural disasters.

“It’s not a job that everyone can do,” said Miller. “The smell of dirt, the new calves born, but someones ‘gotta do it.”

Both DeVries and Miller say unfortunately, dealing with water setbacks is a part of the job, but all they can do is hope for better years of harvest ahead.

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