A long-time Iowa State University extension field agronomist says the damage done by a hail storm in Hardin County is some of the worst he’s ever seen. I.S.U.’s John Holmes says all of the corn is destroyed in the main path of the storm.
“The first thing you notice is there are no tassels, second thing is, the stalks are cut off, in the lesser of the storm damaged areas they’e cut off, they’re beat up and there are deep scars in the stalks,” Holmes says. He says in the very worst of the damage, the stalks are cut off within six inches of the ground.
Holmes says the bean fields did not fare much better. “Many times in the worst part it looks like a hay field, there are no leaves left, it just looks like somebody harvested hay. There’s nothing left, but you can kind of see the rows,” Holmes explains. Holmes says it appears the storm that carried the damaging hail and winds started in Crawford County.
He says the best guess of his colleagues is that the storm started near Schleswig and ran all the way to Wellsburg in a four-to-five mile width where he says there were “literally no crops” — and then damage in the areas bordering that main path. Holmes says acres and acres of crops are ruined.
Holmes says in Hardin County alone a conservative estimate is that over 80-thousand acres of crops were destroyed, and there’s other damage on the borders. Holmes has been working in Iowa for 30 years and this is a first.
“I’ve never seen anything this serious this late, I have seen storms this serious early in the season where replanting was an option, and I’ve seen right before harvest some serious injury, but this takes the cake,” Holmes says.
Holmes has been visiting with farmers in the area since the storm hit Sunday morning.