(The Center Square) – The derecho that swept through more than a month ago is still being felt in Iowa, leaving many farmers wondering where they go from here in terms of generating a fruitful crop season.
“It’s just unbelievable, is probably the word,” local farmer Rod Pierce told the Associated Press of the storm that recently tore through a flood of Midwestern states leaving crop fields in all of them in shambles. “I don’t know how else to describe it.”
In Iowa, the storm described by the National Weather Service as “once in a decade” damaged crops in roughly a third of the state’s 99 counties. What was expected to be a banner year now finds farmers like Pierce scrambling to salvage something.
“It’s discouraging, I guess,” Pierce told the Associated Press. “Frustrating. We had a nice looking crop.”
Pierce isn't alone in lamenting what could have been.
Iowa State University assistant professor and crop specialist Mark Licht told the Associated Press that “a good portion of the state had a really good crop before the storm. Now there are farmers outside the storm path who have a really good crop.”
By Licht’s estimates, that the damage incurred will probably top the drought year of 2012 when crops fell by roughly 20%. Corn crops have been among the hardest hit.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has already requested a disaster declaration from U.S. Department of Agriculture for the state and the USDA is said to be also considering taking other measures.
The Associated Press reports that 95% of the state's corn crop was insured.
Meanwhile, Licht said he’s almost just as concerned about the physical and emotional toll all the devastation could take on farmers.