Last fall, officials predicted that farmland along the Missouri River might be out of production for at least a year. The flood of 2011 piled up sand dunes, gouged out deep holes and killed off many of the microbes that help crops grow.
But now it’s spring, and farmers are back on the land trying to fix what nature broke.
There’s something not quite picture-perfect about this picturesque farmland, known as Blackbird Bend, along the Missouri River near Onawa. A 24-row corn planter is brushing over the tops of an already stunning winter wheat crop, twelve inches high.