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Agriculture

Derecho Impacts Estimated 10 Million Acres Of Iowa Agricultural Land

081120-Polk-County-Corn-Storm
Michael Leland
/
IPR
Damaged corn seen on Tuesday in a field near Elkhart in Polk County.

Monday’s widespread storms and heavy winds potentially impacted 10 million acres of the state’s agricultural land as the system moved across the state, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig estimated.

In addition, Naig estimated the derecho impacted, destroyed or severely damaged tens of millions of bushels of commercial grain storage and millions of on-farm grain storage. Farms, agribusinesses and livestock buildings were damaged and grain silos were torn apart. Naig told reporters Tuesday the state is still assessing the damage and it’s too early to tell how much value is lost.

“It ultimately comes down to is there a yield impact,” Naig said. “And you can imagine that that will be the case. But to fully assess and put a dollar amount to it, it will take some time.”

Naig has been visiting some of the damaged sites. He said this next week will reveal more about how crops will fare.

“There’s a lot of corn that’s laying down and some of that corn will still make a crop, it will be able to stand up and still produce,” Naig said. “And other corn crops, other parts of the crop will in fact be damaged and not be able to be harvested.”

Naig encouraged farmers to call the Iowa Concern Hotline if they’re feeling stressed and need support.