We’re in peak hurricane season which means farmers or those looking to buy farm land for sale in Florida need to be very cognizant of the disastrous effects that heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes can have on their land. Flooding from these events can impact land, therefore land owners must know how to bounce back. This article will discuss how flooding affects farmland and how to recover.
4 Ways Flooding Affects Farm Land
Flooding depletes crop plants of oxygen and since water contains less oxygen than soil and air, plants could suffocate. Oxygen depletion is increased as a result of the factors below:
- Warmer floodwaters
- Stagnant water
- Less mature plants
- Crops submerged underwater too long
Plants need nitrogen to grow; flooding only weakens plant defense. Nitrogen levels drop due to runoff washing away freshly applied fertilizers or the flourishing of anaerobic microbes due to lower levels of oxygen in floodwaters. Without nitrogen, the result is a smaller crop yield and the development of plant pathogens which leads to diseases.
Flooding slows the growth of crops and increases the growth of weeds due to weed seeds washing in from other areas. Farmers must be careful when dealing with weeds since they can harm plants.
Erosion and soil displacement from flooding can ruin fields and destroy crops. Erosion washes the fertile top soil away which leaves crop plants with nowhere to set roots. Sand, gravel, and rocks deposited by flood waters can smother and destroy exposed crops.
Farm Recovery After a Flood
Land owners face a number of economic challenges when recovering from a flood. Recovery is hard work but not an impossible task. Farmers need an extra dose of patience and persistence in these times. They must also expect an increase in costs as they embark on their land’s recovery.
The first step is to clean up the land by removing debris and draining water from the fields. Crops must also be evaluated for damage and disease and then separated from other plants that are healthy. To reverse nitrogen loss, estimate the amount of loss and then apply fertilizers or plant crops such as legumes. Diseases may also be managed with fungicides but this can also increase production costs. Choose weed control with caution as some could cause further damage or simply be ineffective depending on the season it is applied. Farmers must work diligently to restore the health of their soil in order for agricultural productivity to flourish after a flood.