Hail Causes Crop Damage

By: Sara Geake Email
By: Sara Geake Email

Farmers in Fillmore County are assessing the damage caused by a Monday night hail storm.

According FSA officials, about 10,000 acres of corn and soybeans were damaged.

Two bands of hail, only a few miles wide stripped crops while neighboring fields received no damage.

Melissa Myers hoped for the best as she watched the hail come down.

"I knew that there probably would be damage just from how fast and how hard it was hailing," she said. "It covered everything."

As Myers assessed the damage at home--including pierced siding--her husband checked the fields at the family's farm.

"He's already thinking that the yields will go down. I'm more optimistic person and I'm thinking the corn, it's still baby corn yet and maybe it'll grow back," she said.

Down the road, cousin Delwin Myers is also checking his crops.

"Look how that's chewed up," he said with a corn stalk in his hands. "It's ruined."

The damage goes beyond the Myers' ground.

"We've got one [farmer] that I know has probably got four quarters that he got hit pretty hard. Others are hit and miss," said Fillmore County FSA Executive Director Ryne Norton.

It's unclear right now just what kind of hit these farmers will take.

"It's really tough to tell at this point," said Norton. "Some of the older corn or the bigger corn looks like it's pretty stripped up, but you know whether it's 10 to 15 percent, who knows?"

Only Mother Nature can decide if the crops make a comeback.

"The theory is that the warm weather makes the corn grow, and then the growing point shoots up and actually keeps going," said Norton. "Where if it stays cool the growing point doesn't get going and then the leaves tend to wrap and almost kill the stalk."

Norton says farmers should be talking to their crop insurers right now, but the extent the damage won't be known for a couple of weeks.

In fact, if the sun comes out there could be little to no yield loss, but cold or rainy weather could be devastating.

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