Thursday, August 13, 2020

Nearly half of Iowa corn crop damaged in derecho storm

Before and after satellite imagery reveals the magnitude and scope of crop damage in Iowa following Monday's destructive derecho. (NASA Worldview)
Before and after satellite images show the scale of crop damage in Iowa
from Monday's storm. (NASA Worldview images)

Monday’s derecho across the Corn Belt and Midwest laid siege to more than 10 million acres of Iowa’s corn and soybean crop, devastating farmers and capping off what has already been a difficult few years of farming for many," Matthew Cappucci reports for The Washington Post. "Up to 43 percent of the state’s corn and soybean crop has suffered damage from the storms that brought winds exceeding 100 miles per hour at times, a severe blow to a $10 billion industry that’s central to the Hawkeye State’s economy. The magnitude of the battered vegetation was even visible on the same weather satellites used to track Monday’s violent thunderstorms."

It may take weeks to understand the full scope of the damage, but initial reports say it's significant, said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds at a news conference Tuesday. In the meantime, Reynolds declared 20 counties as disasters, allowing more state funding for disaster response and recovery. "The state is also making grants available to low-income families who find themselves faced with food, repair, or temporary housing expenses in the wake of the disaster," Cappucci reports.

The state is juggling storm response along with pandemic management efforts. Some drive-up coronavirus testing sites were closed earlier this week, but Reynolds said they will reopen as soon as possible.

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