Crop Damage Reports

Crop Damage Reports

June 12, 2009

Severe storms with pockets of hail and heavy rain damaged crops and property Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and again on Wednesday (June 10) in areas of Nebraska.


Wednesday's storm dropped heavy rains and heavy hail. In some areas the ground was completely blanketed with hail, while in other areas of the Panhandle, fields became flooded. Reservoirs in Wyoming were at higher than expected levels, given the recent rains and snowmelt.

Friday night (June 5) the line of storms with hail extended from the Panhandle to southeast Nebraska, with areas of heavy hail in Clay, Hall, Hamilton, Fillmore, Saline, Jefferson, and Gage counties in eastern Nebraska and Keith, Cheyenne, and Arthur counties in western Nebraska. Saturday night severe storms developed again in areas of southeast and west central Nebraska, and Sunday night extreme southeast Nebraska as well as areas of northeast Nebraska were hit.

From June 3 to June 10 the Panhandle and eastern Nebraska received 1 to 3 inches of precipitation, with the state recording precipitation that averaged 132% above normal. South central and southeast Nebraska had sites reporting more than 200% of normal for the week, which was welcome in many areas of eastern Nebraska where they had precipitation deficits of 4-7 inches for the year.

Area Damage Reports

Following is a roundup of some of the crop damage reports from across the state.

Jim Schild, extension educator in Scotts Bluff County: This week we had hail damage from Scottsbluff to Bridgeport in the valley floor (roughly 2 miles wide x 20 miles long) of the North Platte River which caused a lot of defoliation. Minatare to Bayard had heavy hail that blanketed fields. Many corn fields were beaten to the ground, but luckily the growing point was still below ground. Time will tell if the crop comes back.A lot of the area that had the heavy hail still had standing water 24 hours later. The dry beans that were up were lost. Fortunately only about 10% of the dry bean crop was up. Alfalfa was mowed to the ground. Western Sugar is estimating that 22% of its sugarbeet acres in Nebraska and eastern Wyoming were hit by hail this past week. They expect most of it to recover; however, yields will be less due to stand loss and defoliation.

Brandy VanDeWalle, extension educator in Fillmore County: An estimated 18,000 acres of crops were damaged in this county, including 12,000 acres of corn and 6,000 acres of soybeans.

Jennifer Rees, extension educator in Clay County: Hail damage was scattered throughout the northern half of Clay County and ranged from 5% to 30% potential yield loss in most of the affected areas. The worst damage was a near complete loss needing to be replanted. Time will tell in the next week what leaf area re-develops and how much disease will affect bruised stems of both corn and soybeans.

Karen DeBoer, extension educator in Cheyenne County: We had a scattering of hailstorms in the southern Panhandle with each night of storms. Reports of small hail were most common. I have not heard of any widespread damage from hail, however, soils are very wet and farmers will have a challenge planting summer crops like proso millet, sunflowers, and dry edible beans. It will be several days before growers can get back into the field.

Jim Schneider, extension educator in Hamilton County: June 8 storms with spotty rains of 0.75 to 2 inches and golf ball sized hail damaged corn, soybean, wheat, and other crops in southern Hamilton County. Wheat was within a month of harvest and some fields were complete losses; the growing point of corn was near or had recently emerged and was vulnerable to hail. Rains were spotty with up to 4 inches reported at Doniphan. Cool, wet conditions since the storm have delayed healing and may set the stage for disease development in wounded plants. While losses for individual corn producers were estimated at up to 25% of yield, total county losses were estimated to be less than 1%.

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