Iowa Farmer Weathering The Storm

IARN — One week ago derecho cut across Iowa. A Grundy County farmer, whose farming operation sustained notable damages, remains hopeful of a quick recovery.

Steve Anderson, of Beaman, Iowa, was not home when Monday’s storm destroyed various facets of his farming operation. Instead he watched the events play out live from video cameras placed strategically on his farm. Anderson describes the horror, as he tries to comprehend the damages.

“The first the we noticed is the large workshop (that) we work in year-round lost a roof and is probably going to be totaled. We’re concerned about getting that back,” Anderson says. “The second thing we discovered, (as) we went down the road to our grain facility, (is) the grain leg’s down in a million pieces. We lost one bin and another one is buckled without a roof. Every bin down there has some kind of damage. We’re hopeful that we can get it pieced back together for harvest.”

“I’m pretty sure every acre of corn we have is damaged. The one wildcard is over half of our corn is seed corn,” Anderson says. “We haven’t destroyed the male corn, and it’s twisted up. We’re not sure if we’re going to harvest or abandon it. Then all of our commercial corn is to varying degrees, either laying down or twisted. It’s going to be a long, miserable harvest.”

Anderson raises commercial corn and seed corn, as well as soybeans. His seed corn acres were among the most vulnerable, and are now laying flat. However, Anderson may be able to harvest the crop.

“If they (seed company) walk away from a large amount, that’s going to hurt us,” Anderson says. “Two of the companies I raise seed for, one always has us harvest the grain with our regular combine. Then we take it to the elevator and they sell it in their name. They’re at least salvaging a minor amount of return on their investment, which doesn’t even come close to what they actually put into it.”

“But that puts a large load on us,”Anderson says. “The only nice thing is (that) most of that stuff yields around 100 bushels per acre and at best, 150, with an exceptional variety or weather. At least getting it away from the field is easier, it’s just time consuming for us when we already feel we are stretched.”

Anderson is still in good spirits, as he understands there was nothing he could have done to prevent such damages.

“Number one, no one was hurt,” Anderson says. “We all know people can’t be replaced, but things can. I believe I’m well insured for things like this. And as corny as it may sound, as I get older, I’m starting to notice that I don’t have control of the world and I’m relying on God to take care of me more than I use to. It’s a lot easier to accept things when you know you aren’t in control.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.



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