On Friday evening of last week (June 17), a storm system rolled through the northwest corner of Iowa. Winds with this system were clocked in the 70+ mph range, and one weather station measured wind gusts over 100 mph. Many large trees were snapped off, grain bins damaged, and other facilities were damaged and/or destroyed in places. One added “bonus” to that storm was hail. A 1-3 mile wide strip of hail damage from the NW edge of Plymouth County to near the SE corner of the county, and proceeding a few miles into Woodbury County, really did some significant damage to many crop fields. As with any hailstorm, there was a range of injury to crops in the path of this storm. Some were totally demolished, some could recover quite well.
An impromptu hail meeting was held on Monday afternoon (June 20), with limited publicity, that still attracted about 125 attendees. We discussed and demonstrated how to evaluate plants for survivorship, what options were available, and how to look at the situation with most of the emotion removed from any decision. We also emphasized thorough discussion with crop insurance agents.
Many producers in the heart of the storm are replanting soybeans. Cornfields fared relatively better than soybean fields, but some of them are nearly totally gone, too. These will create tougher decisions.
Hail damage to corn and soybean fields after a storm system rolled through the northwest corn of Iowa on the evening of June 17.
Photos by Joel DeJong