MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Much of the weather talk lately has centered around tornadoes in Ottertail County.

But a hail storm last weekend did significant building and crop damage from Kandiyohi County to Nicollet County. Wind speeds reached 50 miles an hour and at times the storm dropped baseball-sized hail. It was a blow for farmers when commodity prices are already down.

“We had a wonderful crop. Best we’ve had in this area in five years,” said Curt Burns, farmer and crop consultant.

But it only took Mother Nature about 20 minutes to change that. The hail storm was up to 60 miles long and six miles wide, and when it came to crop destruction it didn’t discriminate.

“This affected thousands of acres of corn, soy beans, kidney beans, sugar beets, peas, sweet corn, and alfalfa,” said Burns.
Acres upon acres were impacted and millions of dollars were lost.
“The few leaves here are very tattered,” said Dave Nicolai of U of M Extension while he looked at the damaged corn. “We have stalk breakage and bruising from hail stones themselves.”
A couple hundred yards away it’s a similar story for soybeans.
“For this time of year, this is really significant,” said Seth Naeve, a soybean agronomist for U of M Extension. Naeve said farmers in Renville, McLeod and Sibley Counties were hit especially hard. While soybeans may re-grow, they won’t come close to the yield they were on pace for. It’s a tough break for this area in what’s otherwise been a grade-A growing season across the state.
“These farmers that are affected are affected individually. We really have to consider the impact on individual farmers rather than the collective whole,” said Naeve.

John Lauritsen

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