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Estimated 10 million Iowa crop acres damaged in Derecho on Monday

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 1:38 AM CDT
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DONAHUE, Iowa (KWQC) - Ten million crop acres in Iowa were damaged during the Derecho on Monday, early estimates by state officials found.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued disaster proclamations in at least 20 counties in response to damage of homes, businesses, and farms and crops around the state.

“I had a farmer reach out to me to say that was the worst wind damage to crops and farm buildings that he has ever seen across the state in such a wide area,” Gov. Reynolds said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

According to the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and land stewardship, the state of Iowa has just over 30 million crop acres, meaning roughly 33 percent of the state’s crops were damaged.

“Although it will take days or weeks to know the full scope of damage, initial reports are significant,” Gov. Reynolds said.

For one farm in Donahue, Iowa, Monday’s storm damage brings yet another obstacle from a year already filled with challenges.

“Five of the last six years, we’ve gone over 300 bushel and we’re going to really be challenged to make 300 bushel in this field,” John Maxwell of Cinnamon Ridge Farms, which has about 4,000 acres, said, “The complications of low prices due to tariffs, due to a lot of different things, COVID-19 has been a real kick in the pants so to speak as well. So this is really a challenging time for us as farmers out here.”

Although the corn at Cinnamon Ridge Farms wasn’t flattened widespread by wind damage like some crops in the state, Maxwell estimates ten to 20 percent of the field was damaged.

“In my years since 1988, this is one of the events that you’re going to remember because of the high winds. You got the drought of ’88, the flood of ’93, the drought of 2012, and now you got the wind of 2020. You remember it by the challenges, not necessarily by the bumper crops,” he said.

Despite this new challenge from mother nature, Maxwell said he’s trying to remain optimistic and will continue doing what he loves.

“We’re going to go through harvest and we’ll go real slow, but we’ll do what we can and get what we can. You know, hopefully there are brighter days ahead,” Maxwell said.

Gov. Reynolds said the state’s damage estimate could change as damage surveying continues.

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