River flooding scars farmland in Faulkner County: ‘It’s been a tough one’

Local News
Gary Patton sits on a trough at his Faulkner County farm, surrounded by flood-damaged land.

FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark. – Acres of farmland in Faulkner County that used to be full of lively, green grass are now smothered with dirt, mud and debris.

The makeover appeared after river flooding began to recede. Gary Patton has never seen his land look so dead.

“It’s been a tough one,” Patton says.

Patton has more than 200 cows, which are normally sprawled across his 300-acre plot in Wooster. Record levels of water forced his cattle to higher points, and now they’re left sharing 40 acres of the only pieces of grass that are left.

After water receded, the mess showed up.

“Lot of sticks to pick up;driftwood,” Patton says.

“Bottles and cans. Just trash.”

Patton’s land is mostly brown where it used to be full of green grass.

The scarred land leaves a limited amount of food for the cattle, which Patton has to feed now during a time of the year when they can normally graze themselves.

“Well, it’s probably cost me about $200 to feed,” Patton says. “You know, and you talk about 30 days there’s another $6,000 then you hadn’t got the hay put up.”

It’s a season of change for a seasoned farmer and another storm to weather.

“It’s something every year,” Patton says. “It’s just different.”

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