Callaway farmers ‘plant’ crops, ‘pray’ levees hold

Workers harvest wheat with a combine at the former Renz Prison Farm.

Workers harvest wheat with a combine at the former Renz Prison Farm. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

TEBBETTS — There is a magic number for the Smart Brothers Farms along Highway 94. That number, 27 feet, is when flooding from the Missouri River will begin to occur on the land they have farmed for generations.

The family has farmland from Steedman, about nine miles east of Tebbetts on Highway 94, to just north of the old Renns prison on Highway 63. And along that stretch, there are countless levees and others’ farmland.

If the levees hold, Peggy Smart said, they should have few problems. But if the river rises above the 27 feet or if a levee on or off their property breaks, they could face damage to not only the crops they have planted but the land as well.

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