Location: Agroclimate and Hydraulics Research UnitTitle: Farm impacts of the 2019 Missouri River floods and economic valuation of flood risk reduction
|SKEVAS, THEODOROS - University Of Missouri|
|GRASHUIS, JASPER - University Of Missouri|
|MASSEY, RAY - University Of Missouri|
Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2023
Publication Date: 7/5/2023
Citation: Skevas, T., Grashuis, J., Massey, R., Hunt, S. 2023. Farm impacts of the 2019 Missouri River floods and economic valuation of flood risk reduction. Journal of Environmental Management. 344. Article 118483. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118483.
Interpretive Summary: The 2019 Missouri River flood caused billions of dollars in damages (e.g., commercial and residential property, roads, bridges, utilities, and agricultural farmland), yet information is lacking on the effects to individual farms and on farmers' perceptions as to the causes for the flooding. This study describes 1) the operational and financial setbacks farmers sustained due to these floods, 2) their beliefs as to what created these flooding conditions, and 3) farmers' willingness to pay monetarily to avoid or reduce flood risks and/or the conditions that contribute to flooding conditions. For this study, approximately 700 Missouri farmers living or operating near the Missouri River were surveyed. Feedback given in the survey indicated yield loss, loss of growing crops, and inability to plant crops were the three most important impacts of the flooding. Nearly 40% of the flood-affected farms reported financial losses of $100,000 or more. Most respondents identified government decision makers as the cause of the 2019 floods, and many believe the government should prioritize flood control over other benefits (e.g., recreation and environmental concerns like endangered species) the Missouri River system provides. Less than half the surveyed farmers are willing to pay to reduce or avoid flood risks. Factors including age, income, and education were considered in the data analysis. Policy direction to improve flood risk management in the Missouri River basin were also discussed.
Technical Abstract: The 2019 Missouri River flood caused billions of dollars in damage to businesses, homes, and public infrastructure. Yet little is known about the farm-level effects of this event and farmers’ perceptions of its causes. This study reports on the operational and financial setbacks farmers sustained because of the 2019 floods, as well as on their beliefs on the causes of these floods. It further explores farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid flood risks and the factors that condition it. The empirical application focuses on a sample of approximately 700 Missouri farmers operating near the homonymous river. Results show that yield loss, loss of growing crops, and inability to plant crops were the three most important consequences of flooding. Nearly 40% of the flood-affected farmers reported financial losses of $100,000 or more. Most respondents identified government decision makers as the cause of the 2019 floods, and many believe that government should prioritize flood control over other benefits (recreation and fish and wildlife habitat) the Missouri River system provides. The WTP results show that less than half of the surveyed farmers were willing to pay to avoid flood risks, with an average WTP estimated at $3 per $10,000 value of agricultural land. Subjective but not objective risk exposure influences WTP for flood risk reduction. Other important determinants of WTP are risk aversion, disutility from flood risks, and respondents’ age, income, and education. Directions for policy to improve flood risk management in the Missouri River Basin are discussed.