July 28, 2008--Floods strip Midwest of tons of valuable topsoil (Denver Post)

The flooding that swamped large areas of the Midwest took with it some of the region's  most valuable resource: soil. Now farmers and environmentalists are at odds over what to do with erosion-prone land—take their chances planting crops on marginal land in hopes of good yields and high grain prices, or plant trees, native grasses or ground cover that act as a natural flood buffer. The floods may have caused up to $3 billion in crop losses in Iowa and $800 million in crop damage in Indiana, according to estimates from agriculture secretaries in those states. Erosion damage is harder to tally. 

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