Research Findings on Soil Productivity Presented on River Boat Mississippi

May 12, 2015
Ken Olson standing near Mississippi river boat


On March 23, 2015, Dr. Ken Olson of NRES presented research findings, related to the soil productivity loss as a result of the induced levee breach at the New Madrid floodway, at a Mississippi River Commission (MRC) public hearing. The public hearing was held on USACE boat named the Mississippi and docked at New Madrid, Missouri. Ken presented O'Bryan Ridge gully field damage assessment, provided a statement for the record and distributed reprints of a team published Journal of Soil and Water Conservation article related to permanent soil productivity loss on the 195 acre O'Bryan Ridge gully field (see link). Approximately 90 USACE, MRC, local Drainage District leaders, Senators, Congressmen, Floodway farmers and Mayors from 5 states were in attendance. Dr. Olson recommended that the MRC, USACE and USDA, NRCS sign an agreement to update the soil survey immediately after every levee breach and subsequent flooding event. One hundred and forty Floodway farmers supported by the Missouri AG have filed suit in federal court (case is now in a Washington, D.C. court) claiming soil damages as a result of the 2011 New Madrid floodway use and the US Justice Department is defending the federal government against the soil damage claims.

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