Monday’s storm impacts a third of Iowa farmland

Iowa’s governor makes a disaster declaration following this week’s storms that rattled parts of the Midwest.

A powerful derecho storm wrecked Midwestern farmlands on Monday. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig tallies up the devastation. “If you look at the swath of the storm, we estimated that it impacted roughly a third of the state, and if you consider that we have around 30 million acres of agriculture land in the state,” Naig states. “That would mean roughly 10 million acres was potentially impacted by the storm as it moved across the state.”

Grain storage facilities were also affected. “We know that 10s of millions of bushels of commercial grain storage, and millions of on farm grain storage was impacted, destroyed, or severely damaged,” Naig adds.

Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Meaghan Anderson says that there will be problems come harvest time: “Now, they have crop on the ground. Now, not only are they going to be harvesting a drought-stressed crop, but they are going to be taking their sweet precious time doing it because it will take forever to get it off the ground. Then, we have people who were sitting on what looked like what was going to be a really, really great crop, and now harvest for them will be an absolute nightmare as well.”

According to Naig, the damage was widespread. “We’ve got farms and ag businesses that have sustained structural damages: livestock buildings, machine sheds, machine sheds holding equipment, all of those things,” he notes. “Of course, a lot of tree damage as well.”

Now he says, it is time for recovery steps. He reminds producers to be safe as they clean up from the storm, and pay attention to downed power lines.