DES MOINES, IOWA, US — Iowa officials on Aug. 19 said much of the corn and soybean crops in the path of last week’s derecho storm would not be harvested, Reuters reported.
About 14 million acres, or 57% of Iowa’s planted area, were impacted by the Aug. 10 storm, which unleashed winds of over 100 miles per hour, equal to an F1 tornado.
Iowa State University Extension field specialist Virgil Schmitt told Reuters that corn yields in the affected areas would be down by 50% from their pre-storm expectations.
The storm not only damaged thousands of acres of cropland but also destroyed a large number of grain storage bins. The Iowa Department of Agriculture said the storm destroyed or damaged more than 57 million bushels of commercial grain storage capacity in Iowa and a similar amount on farms.
The cost to remove, replace or repair damaged grain bins will top $300 million, according to Iowa’s agriculture department.
Farmers in the state harvested 2.6 billion bushels of corn and 502 million bushels of soybeans last year. It is the nation’s leading corn producer and second-leading producer of soybeans.
The USDA’s official assessment of the storm’s impact on corn and soybean production will appear in its Sept. 11 crop production report.
Corn and soybean prices initially rose following the storm but have eased in the last several days.