Storms leave crop damage for farmers across Nebraska

Published: Jun. 20, 2017 at 12:32 PM CDT
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Severe storms with high winds, hail and even tornadoes impacted Nebraska last week. Those storms turned over pivots, uprooted trees, and caused crop damage for many farmers.

Since then, educators with Nebraska Extension have been out surveying the damage.

Jenny Rees with Nebraska Extension serves York and Seward Counties, along with Clay, Nuckolls, Thayer, and Fillmore Counties.

She says that area was impacted by storms early in the week.

When surveying the area, she reported hail and wind damage to crops—ranging from stripped leaves to broken plants.

“Those farmers are making decisions right now regarding replanting,” said Rees. “The later we continue to go in the growing season, the harder those decisions become.”

According to Rees, farmers who experienced crop damage should now take stand counts to determine which plants are still living.

“For corn, in the center of the plant, you’ll start to see new leaves developing,” said Rees. “For soybeans, even if they were reduced to sticks, there still may be some new leaves developing there as well.”

Rees says it may also be a good idea to dig up plants, slit open the stalks and look at the color of the growing point.

“You want that growing point to be really white or yellow and firm,” she said. “If it’s brown and mushy, that plant probably won’t survive.”

Rees says a lot of farmers won’t have to replant, but this damage could lead to potential issues down the road.

“When the storms come through, they can do damage to the stalks—creating bruising and wounds,” said Rees. “While the plant may try and seal them over, they still last throughout the growing season.”

This damage could cause these plants to break off later in the season.

For farmers who received damage late in the week, there’s still time to decide if replanting is necessary. Rees recommends those farmers wait at least one week before making a final choice.

“We’ve been blessed with sunshine and warmer weather,” she said, “so the crops are recovering better because of that.”

For more information on the damage and details on resources available for farmers, click