Flooding still a problem for farmers: ‘That’s an understatement’

Local News

TURNER COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — The aftermath of the March flood is still rippling through various parts of KELOLAND especially for farmers.

It’s been a very rough and very wet season for farmers.

“That’s an understatement… it’s been a wet couple of months,” Farmer Brad Rops said.

We first visited Brad Rops out on his farm in Turner County about a month ago and things haven’t let up.

“We’ve felt God’s protection through all of this and, I mean, back in March it was bad and it was – then it was ice water and the same things to deal with, and it was hard to face,” Rops said

That and, combined with the frequent rainfall, Rops says it doesn’t take much for his 80 acres to flood.

“Everything’s water-logged, so even a quarter-inch, half-inch of rain isn’t a lot on its own, but when it can’t soak the soil profile, it runs off and so it fills the ditches and the creeks and those run into the river,” Rops said.

Making daily chores like trying to care for his livestock feel like he’s up a creek without a paddle.

“I head out into the neighbor’s field and I walk out a ways to get out of the worst current and then I’ll wade across that and then come around through my own fields – through the backside, so I can get to the livestock,” Rops said.

But the problems continue to pool out past the farm and into the roads, as he has to park a little over half a mile from his home to keep his pick-up dry.

“Everything’s going to take a little longer; a little more effort, maybe a little more distance. Traveling: You’ve got to drive further, but in the end, it takes less time than trying to go straight through or do things as you need to,” Rops said.

But after living this long underwater, It’s become rather familiar.

“We’re getting into a routine and, as far as dealing with it, it’s almost become normal now,” Rops said.

But Rops continues to keep looking on the bright side.

“The suns going to come out. This is going to dry up. This is temporary and… don’t get too upset over setbacks or property destruction. It’s all stuff,” Rops said.

But it’s still early in the season, and Rops is looking to get a bit of farming done yet. 

As much of the water has gone down since last week, and he can still find some spots to plant.

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