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Cairo, Illinois saved, but at a price

May 4th 2011 at 6:20 AM

The small town of Cairo, Illinois is saved, and that's a good thing. But like the rest of life, there's always a price to be paid. In this case it's thousands of acres of Missouri farmland.

According to the St. Louis Beacon, most of the farmers in the area have known for some time the day may come when their land is no longer protected by the levee. One farmer, Bob Byrne, acknowledges that it will be at least six weeks before the water clears up, and his season dramatically affected. By the time the land is usable again, it will be too late to plant corn.

While Mr. Byrne sees his 550-acres of land go under water, other farmers are seeing thousands of acres ruined for this year's crop. But, for their part in saving Cairo, Illinois, the US government is not forsaking those who are suffering.

To alleviate some concerns for farmers, the USDA will honor crop insurance claims, and the Department of Agriculture promises to help Missouri farmers recover. While the difficulties are obvious, the farming community of Missouri recognizes the importance of Cairo, Illinois, too.

As difficult as this is for so many in Missouri, The Army Corps of Engineers, as do so many others, understands all of this really a matter of numbers. Whatever expenses the federal government will cover to help farmers recover, is nothing compared to the price paid for letting Cairo, Illinois be destroyed by inaction.

Originally published on Gather News.

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