As Congress

considers rural and agricultural aid

for the next stimulus bill, a new survey illustrates how rural areas in the big farming state of Nebraska were already hurting before the pandemic, due to record wet weather in 2019. Parts of other Midwestern states suffered likewise.

According to the latest 

annual survey

from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Agricultural Economics, severe weather harmed more than half of Nebraska's rural communities in 2019.

"Last year, flood damage in the state was estimated at more than $1.3 billion, including $449 million in damage to roads, levees and other infrastructure. Twenty-seven bridges were damaged," The Grand Herald Independent 

reports

. "Agricultural damages included $440 million in crop losses; and $400 million in cattle losses. Livestock losses included 700 hogs who drowned on a farm near Fremont."