Husker Harvest Days to run as planned despite past weather damage

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Monday is the busiest day of the year for people at Husker Harvest Days, but it's even busier for some after the rain last night and heavy wind storm several weeks ago.

Exhibitors spent Monday setting up displays at Husker Harvest Days in preparation for the start of the show Tuesday. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

People with Sukup Manufacturing spent their Monday sweeping water out of a grain bin that's on display at the site.

This isn't the only storm cleanup they've had to do. Several weeks ago, their main building was damaged after the wind storm blew into town. The overhead doors came off, and the siding was dented.

"You look at a new building and see it all dented in on the sides, and it's kind of disheartening," said John Hanig, bin sales director for Sukup. "Half a dozen sheets of steel and it's all fixed back up."

Their customers are the motivation for making sure everything is in tip top shape for the show.

"With the delays and wet weather all summer long it's probably going to be a tough drying year. So we're able to help them out with grain dryers and material handling equipment to get their grain moved," Hanig said.

The wind storm did take out several buildings permanently, including the old Chevy barn. They still have an exhibit set up.

Matt Jungmann, national events director for Farm Progress Companies, said the rain hasn't impacted total production. All 600 exhibitors that signed up will be at the show.

Jungmann attributes that to the $7 million upgrade at the facility last year. That includes six miles of concrete streets, as well as a new storm sewer for better drainage.

Jungmann said he hopes the event will be a time for farmers to put 2019 behind them.

"My family farms in Western Illinois, and every time I got a report from Nebraska it was another flood, or another wind storm, one thing after the next," Jungmann said. "I hope that Husker Harvest Days can be one of the first steps to get excited and get motivated about the 2020 crop, and really start to feel better about the industry that you're in after a really, really rough 2019.

There isn't a basement or approved tornado shelter at Husker Harvest Days, so if the weather gets bad enough at the event, people will ask you to leave the grounds.

There will be updated maps for you on site, as some exhibitors moved because of storm damage.

At Sukup's exhibit, they'll show the movie "Silo" at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Husker Harvest Days runs Tuesday through Thursday. Gates will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Jungmann said parking lots should be dried out by then.