Questions and damage remain two months after derecho ripped across Iowa

An August derecho flattened corn and mangled grain bins over nearly every county in central Iowa.  Fast forward two months and the cleanup continues as farmers attempt to harvest what’s salvageable while seeking answers to several unanswered questions.

USDA undersecretary Bill Northey and Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig hosted a farmer roundtable at the Heartland Co-op in Elberon Wednesday morning.  Naig says farmers deal with adverse weather every year.

“What’s different is the size, scale, and severity of this event.”

Area farmer Sam Prezik, a crop insurance agent, says several of his clients zeroed out corn acres shortly after the storm.

“Now guys are starting to go back into (those fields) and wanting to zero back out again, if they attempt it and everything. But the definition of harvestable, we need a clarification on that.”

Northey says he’ll look into that as well as help for the more than 70 co-ops and elevators that sustained damage.

“Our CCC (Commodity Credit Corporation) is really structured to help farmers. Now, can we help farmers through co-ops or other types of things? I don’t know.”

Heartland Co-op CEO Tom Hauschel estimates the derecho will result in losses of $35 million across their 45 facilities hit by the storm.

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