Crops in 57 Iowa counties sustained damage from the 100-mph, hurricane-force windstorm that swept through the state last Monday, according to Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
Darren Frye, president and CEO of Water Street Solutions, a commodity brokerage service, flew over some of the hardest hit areas yesterday by helicopter. He talked with AgDay TV Anchor Clinton Griffiths earlier on Monday and shared photographs of what he saw.
“The damage is a lot more extensive than I thought,” Frye said. “With the helicopter, we were able to get down close to the crop—in some cases 15 feet above it—and we saw a lot of fields that had at least 15% to 20% damage in them.
“The farmer I was with kept saying ‘Man, I don’t know if I’d even put a combine in that field.’ He kept saying that…and these fields will certainly be hard to pick,” Frye added.
Ultimately, Frye said he thinks the corn lost to the storm will bring the total U.S. yield average down 4 bpa nationally for the 2020 crop.
“You're talking right at 250 to 400 million (bushels per acre lost) in the path that we spent five hours flying over yesterday,” Frye said. “It’s at least 350 million bushels. I don’t think it’s under that. I’d be shocked, though, if it’s over 600 million.”
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he approved federal disaster aid for Iowa. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said on Sunday she requested about $4 billion in emergency funds following the Aug. 10 storm.
Secretary Naig reported that the area hit in Iowa encompasses 14 million acres of insured crops, including 8.2 million corn acres and 5.6 million acres of soybeans
“The satellite imagery available shows that 36 counties of those 57 were hardest hit by the derecho with the greatest impact on 3.57 million acres of corn and 2.5 million of soybeans,” Naig said.
A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms.