Severe Weather Affects Crops Across Latham Country


It’s been a week of severe weather across southern Minnesota. Jason Obermeyer says he has never before seen hail damage so severe, saying in areas you cannot identify what crop was even planted unless you dug up the ground and identified it by root mass.

Last Thursday, the state was hit by several tornadoes.  While the property damage was severe, it was nonetheless miraculous that more people were not injured or killed as storms pounded the area. Video of the June 17 tornado is below, as well as photos of the damage from last week’s storm.


Albert Lea Tribune June 17 Tornado Photos

Severe Weather Photos

While impressive/depressing as the crop damage is, Jason says it pales in comparison to the American spirit.  The Minnesotans and Iowans who were affected by last week’s storm system picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and helped those in need. “From the local fire and rescue squads, to the neighbors and friends, to the American Red Cross,” he said, “I tip my hat to all of you and say thanks for being there when we needed you the most.  It’s times like these that I say thanks to God for being an American.”

The daily rainfall is making for some challenging spraying conditions reports, adds Jason.  Many fields need to be sprayed.  Pre-emerge herbicides or early post residual tank mixes are showing their value this year since farmers haven’t been able to get in field when they’ve wanted.

When he is asked the question, “What do you do?” he replies, “If you can live with ruts, then go for it. Sometimes it’s better to lose a finger and save the hang then wait for ideal conditions for spraying.” With each day of severe weed competition, we’re losing yield.  As drastic as it may seem, the idea of a clean field will put minds at ease for the time being.


Steve Bailie says they could use some sunshine in his territory.  The corn is belly button to chest high and is canopied.  Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids (LH) 5266 3000GT and LH 5777 SS are looking phenomenal in his plots. Nodules are appearing on the roots of soybeans. In the southwest part of state, the 15-inch rows are very close to canopied and the 30-inch rows are about a week away from canopied. In the northeast, crops are just a little bit behind due to later planting dates.  Farmers are struggling to get the second alfalfa crop out of the field due to all of the wet weather.

Northeast Iowa

Nick Benson reports the corn and beans look good, but if the rain continues, they will start losing yield due to too much moisture. LH 4777 VT3 looks awesome throughout his territory. Weed control and side dressing nitrogen are big concerns due to all the rain.

Central Iowa

Kevin Meyer reports hail and strong winds throughout his territory this past week.  Herbicide applications and nitrogen losses are at the main topics of discussion because too much rainfall is going to prohibit farmers from getting it all done.  Kevin said fungicide applications should be considered on some acres by varieties due to the amount of moisture in the ground.  Although the corn looks pretty good overall, stress is beginning to take a toll on this year’s crop.  Soybeans are much the same.  Weather stress and early signs of disease should be on every producer’s mind.  As these fields dry out, keep a close eye on the crops and be very proactive about any problems that are surely going to develop.

Bob Collins’ territory in central Iowa has missed the last couple of rains.  The corn is looking great with some yellow spots in the low wet areas due to all the rain.  Some bean fields need spraying, but due to the weather, it’s been hard to get in the field between rain storms. He says the farmers in his territory might be able to get back spraying by the end of the week.

Central Nebraska

Steve Edwards reports fields in his territory are water logged due to all of the rain and poor soil drainage. Some corn is chest high and about 5% of beans have canopied. The moisture from excessive rain is giving farmers a hard time with weed control.

Eastern Nebraska

Mike Lorenz says eastern Nebraska has received rain every day again this week, so fieldwork remains at a standstill. Conditions are worsening because farmers can’t get in the fields to spray or replant.  The crop insurance deadline for planting soybeans was June 10 with a 25-day window, giving them until July 5 to replant any needed acres.

Farmers need to clearly understand options available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (USDA FSA) and under their crop insurance policies before making replant decisions.  For more information on assessing one’s options, check out this June 21 CropWatch report from University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) Extension service:

Mike says it’s been an interesting year.  Roads and bridges remain closed, especially by the Elkhorn River that is taking in water from the widespread flooding.  With these conditions, it’s difficult to reach fields to check for damage.  Although the lower grounds are flooded and will have very poor crops, the hill crops are looking very good because the sandy hills have had exceptional moisture thus far.

East Central Iowa

Brad Beatty reports crop growth is at least two weeks ahead of schedule:  corn in his area is already 6 feet tall and soybeans are already knee-high.  Most corn is too tall to spray for the second time, leaving spraying with drops as the only option.  There are also a lot of soybean fields in dyer need of spraying.  Much of East Central Iowa has received as much as 10 inches of rain in the last week and Brad has heard of wind speeds as high as 70mph from last Friday’s storms.  Fortunately, corn that lodged from the past storms is recovering well.  Most lodging was due to saturated soils and shallow root systems, but this may have been a blessing in disguise because, as brittle as the corn is, it could have green snapped.  Dry weather is needed badly!  Some farmers have second crop hay to make and others are still working on the first crop.

South Central Iowa

Over a 24-hour period this week, Travis Slusher’s farm near Adel received two inches of rain.  The storm that blew through Tuesday morning brought some pea-size hail but not enough to do any significant damage in his immediate area.  However, last Friday’s storm and high winds created some isolated areas of significant greensnap in the corn.  Corn and beans in the low areas are now a complete loss as they’ve had too much water on them for too long.  There hasn’t been any progress with haying due to the stalled weather system.  Hopefully, this will change later this week and some much needed dry weather will return.

Northwest Iowa

Northwest Iowa remains the Garden Spot as Bruce Anderson reports that crops in his area continue to flourish.  Corn rows are mostly filled and beans are shooting up to new heights.  His region has received rain but nothing the tiles can’t handle, so there is no standing water.

Central Iowa

Bart Peterson reports the Humboldt area received 2.4 inches of rain during the storm last Thursday and Friday.  Another round of severe thunderstorms hits the area last night.  Corn is growing quickly and is at the V10 to V12 stage.  Beans are beginning to flower.  Webster and Humboldt Counties have certain areas that have moderately saturated soils, causing some Fusarium and Rhizoctonia root rot but nothing to the point that they are going to see much yield loss.