Tornado Debris Poses Farm Harvest Danger

Jul 24, 2018

Glenn Van Wyk is clearing debris spit out by the July 19th tornado after ripping through the nearby Vermeer factory and leveling three of his farmstead’s buildings. But he hasn’t yet decided what to do about flattened corn fields littered with steel sheets and other parts of the Vermeer buildings.

A tornado flattened acres of corn near Pella
Credit Dean Borg / IPR

Van Wyk estimates about 40-acres is damaged. Maybe a total loss. He and his wife, Denise, farm 160 acres outside Pella, less than a quarter mile from the Vermeer plant’s Global Pavilion.

“We’re going to have some people come in and walk some of it, but we don’t know if we’re going to walk very much of it because then you get into the standing corn and you’re not going to be able to see what’s in there anyway.”

Debris that's currently camouflaged, could later be ingested by a combine, adding to the damage toll.

Van Wyk was hoping to chop the damaged corn into a silage, livestock feed, but now says, “I don’t know if we dare to chop it. With debris in it, you don’t know what you’re going to run into.”