Farmers take one-two punch from storm-ravaged fields and flood-stranded barges

One week after severe weather flattened some fields, the local corn crop is showing some signs of improvement in Rock Island County.

Related photos: Storms flatten some area crops

But all the rain and wind is creating challenges for farmers.

Farmers like to say that rain makes grain. But severe weather just creates crop damage.

Longtime farmer Darrel Hofer is a man in motion these days near Reynolds, Illinois. But the view produces a sickening sight.

“As you can see, this plant is not going to produce an ear,” he said.

After his corn got off to a great start, recent severe weather flattened plants and snapped stalks.

“Even if they put in some kind of an ear, it’s going to be really hard to harvest,” he said.

Recent torrential rain and strong winds carved a destructive path in fields. While some corn is recovering, it will still reduce a promising crop.

“The earlier the corn was planted and the better it looked, the worse it got damaged,” he said.

The storm damage comes at a tough time for farmers. Flattened stalks will definitely slow down the harvest.

“It gets real difficult to see where you’re at,” he said.

These storm-damaged fields are tough to harvest. It’s hard to find the rows, and it’s even tougher to get the corn.

“It might knock an ear off before it gets in the machine,” he said.

Mother Nature is dealing another blow. Flooding shut down barge traffic along the Mississippi River. That’s hitting farmers in the wallet.

“When they’re not moving, it costs more for the freight,” he said.

For now, Darrel Hofer will keep moving. He’s making the most of his challenged crops.

 

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