Iowa farmers experience major crop loss from derecho

National News

2020 has been a real downer year for agriculture, says Ames Farmer, Bob Finch.

The derecho produced wind gusts over 90 miles per hour. That was enough to affect most of central Iowa’s cornfields. 

ISU Extension Field Agronomist, Meaghan Anderson says, “It’s just a matter of whether it’s maybe leaning and lodged a little bit to all the way being flat completely on the ground.”

This year’s corn crop was past its pollination process which will increase the overall yield, but there are still many problems that come with a flattened crop. 

Anderson adds, “If we can harvest it we’re probably going to be running into issues with light grain, poor quality grain that may not be able to be sold, and then we may also be seeing stuff with ear rots and molds that may be happening.” 

There is crop insurance for struggling farmers, but it won’t help with this year’s harvest. 

“It will help you with your expenses, but it will not replace a crop,” says Finch.

Farmers still have a long road ahead between cleaning up the damaged crop and harvesting what’s left. For some that also means finding another way to store the grain they are able to harvest. 

“No matter what we’re looking at a really long harvest, some farmers have lost grain storage or other types of infrastructure on their farms and it’s just added a lot of stress,” says Anderson. 

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