Iowa officials estimate 10M acres of cropland damaged by windstorm


Iowa officials estimate 10M acres of cropland damaged by windstorm

A satellite photo showing the area that suffered the most damage in Monday’s windstorm.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture is estimating that ten million acres of cropland was impacted by Monday’s derecho windstorm.

The storm flattened millions of acres of corn in the central part of the state, but Iowa ag secretary Mike Naig says it’s too soon to say how much of the crop has been lost.

“The next week will tells us a lot about the fate of the crop,” Naig says. “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. And other parts of the crop will, in fact, be damaged and will not be able to be harvested.”

Some analysts are estimating total corn losses from the storm could run as high as 300 to 400 million bushels.

Naig says the damage to grain storage facilities is also a big concern. He estimates “tens of millions of bushels” of commercial grain storage was destroyed or severely damaged, along with millions of bushels of on-farm storage.

“You’ll have these areas where you’ve damaged the on-farm storage and the commercial storage in a particular area—and so that will mean that producers may have to truck further and we may need to look at other alternatives for storage of that grain.”

Naig made those comments Tuesday afternoon in a conference call with reporters.

AUDIO: Excerpts from Naig’s comments to reporters

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