Iowa County crop damage


The tornado that made its way through Iowa County over the weekend caused property damage to homes, barns and other buildings, but it also hit farmers' fields of crops.

"This is one of the risks farmers deal with every day ... it could be hail, it could be wind," said Gene Schriefer of UW Extension.

On Sunday, it was a tornado. That tornado took took out a third of one farmer's wheat field, just north of Dodgeville on County Road Z.

"It was a beautiful stand of wheat before this," said Schriefer.

Now it has wheat bend in all directions -- the aftermath of circular winds.

"Some of this is lodged completely, or it's laid flat. We've creased the stem. That's not going to stand back up," said Schriefer.

Right now, wheat is ripening, the stems are dry, and Schriefer says it's the worst time the crop can be hit.

"If it was just still younger and greener some of that will recover," said Schriefer.

That's not the case as much with corn. Corn isn't ripe, and that's why corn it is bouncing back more quickly than wheat.

That's exactly what happened to Louise Erpenbach's neighbors.

"The corn was laying right flat on the ground. But Mr. Welp's corn if you notice is coming right back up.

Seven Seeds Farm raises organic meat and produce. Despite a destroyed greenhouse, Erpenbach's tomatoes are okay. The cover to their cattle barn was torn off too, but she's thankful the trees took most of the damage.

"I just asked God to protect our lives and the lives of the cattle and I got a lot more than I asked for so I'm very thankful," said Louise Erpenbach.

Schriefer says that's the case with most of the county. Damage isn't widespread, and young crops are coming back.

But another problem farmers are dealing with is the debris scattered throughout the fields. Some of the farmers along County Road Z said they're welcoming help clearing their fields of that debris. They can't plow or harvest until its cleaned up.


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