The massive hail and wind storms that hit Hardin County and surrounding areas Monday have left many farmers trying to figure out their options. Iowa State University extension agronomist John Holmes says insurance coverage varies from farmer to farmer.
He says some farmers have insurance and some don’t and there are varying levels of hail insurance. There are also varying levels of programs from the Farm Service Administration that protect the farmer, but he says some of the programs require damage across the farm and not just in a field, so the damage may not be covered, or covered to a lesser degree.
Holmes says some of the battered corn may be salvaged as feed for cattle. Holmes says some of the corn could be made into silage, but it will have to dry and then there are harvest aids that could be added to it. He says in many cases farmers don’t have a need for silage and some can’t harvest the corn and it will be disked down. Holmes says not only did farmers lose a once promising crop — they’ve also suffered damage to homes and buildings.
Holmes cites the town of Eldora as an example of the strength of the storm. Holmes says almost all the north and west windows in the whole town are gone, broken out by the hail. He says people with vinyl siding on their homes also saw it ruined on the north and west sides. Holmes says it’s the worst storm damage he’s seen in 30 years.
Governor Chet Culver has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a Secretarial Disaster Designation for 23 Iowa counties following damage to plants and significant production losses due to severe storms between May 15 and July 31, 2009.