Iowa's estimated derecho crop losses increase by more than 50% in latest USDA report
Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register
Oct 9, 2020
The number of crop acres that Iowa farmers are unable to harvest after the devastating August derecho has grown to 850,000, a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report showed Friday.
That's a more than 50% increase from September, when the USDA had set the estimated loss to the Aug.10 derecho at 550,000 acres. The storm flattened crops with winds up to 140 mph. The damage was compounded in late summer with a drought that, at its peak, encompassed much of the state. The drought is once again expanding after some September rainfall.
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said Friday he expects the number of lost acres will climb even more as growers move deeper into the harvest. "I think we're going to find that more and more fields will be considered a total loss," said Naig, who was helping his father harvest corn in northwest Iowa.
Usually, farmers will try to harvest the downed corn, salvaging what they can. But Naig said he said he has heard that many are asking crop insurance adjusters to take another look at their fields after finding it more difficult than expected.
"Crops can deteriorate," he said. "It's a really dynamic situation."
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