Hail storms blanketed large sections of the state Tuesday afternoon and heavy crop damage is reported in northwest Iowa’s Plymouth County — with thousands of acres impacted.
Bill Tentinger, who farms east of Le Mars, says he has extensive hail damage to his corn, especially to the rows that run east-west.
“A lot of that in the center of the storm is 100% wiped out. It’s sawed off clear down to the ground,” Tentinger says. “This is corn that was waist high. The rows going north and south have a lot of damage but they’re not sawed off quite that far.”
Photos posted on social media by farmers in the region show hail covering the ground and resembling snow. Tentinger says he may still try to re-plant his soybean acres, though it’s too late in the season to re-plant the cornfields, especially with the chemicals he used.
“On the corn ground, yes, that’s right, there’s herbicide carry-over,” Tentinger says. “I don’t know what the options are on that yet. For those of us that use our corn crops as feed, it’s going to be a pretty good-sized loss.”
Tentinger says the hail that hit his crops was nickel-sized, but he noticed larger hailstones as he traveled south towards Kingsley. There was damage to windows at farmsteads, along with damaged siding, and some tree damage.
Tentinger is facing another challenge — providing for his animals. “I raise mostly corn because I feed it all to my livestock,” Tentinger says. “I’m going to have to replace that somewhere and all of the grain merchandisers in the area are telling me that they have very little corn. Because of the weather, people are reluctant to forward sell.”
The National Weather Service says the largest reported hail in Iowa on Tuesday was in Linn County near Walker with half-dollar-sized stones, while winds topped 66 miles-an- hour near Des Moines in Waukee.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)