Record flooding in the Midwest and Great Plains caused at least $3 billion in damage to the region, and more than one-third of the tally is from agriculture, according to officials.
The states affected by the rapid snow melt and flooding include Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. More rain is forecast to hit portions of the Midwest into Saturday that could exacerbate flooding issues.
A costly cleanup awaits the Farm Belt states as the flooded Mississippi River continues to recede. Forecasters predict portions of the river could remain high well into the middle of May.
Nebraska suffered nearly $1.4 billion in projected damage, according to state officials. Of the total, damage to agriculture is estimated at about $900 million, including crops, land and livestock, according to Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
Nelson said farmers and ranchers in Nebraska lost hundreds of pigs and thousands of cattle, including calves.
"We've seen the water recede in a number of areas in the state of Nebraska, although there are certainly downstream areas that continue to have flooding taking place," Nelson said. "Nearly every river and stream set all-time flood records."
Nelson said farmers already faced tough times before the powerful storm and flooding hit the region, so he fears some will be forced to go out of business because of additional financial stress caused by the disaster.