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Monday’s derecho damages one third of Iowa cropland

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(KWWL) - We've seen first hand the extensive damage inflicted on homes, power lines and businesses at the hands of Monday's powerful derecho. However, perhaps one of the biggest hits from those strong, straight-line winds has been Iowa's farmland.

Governor Kim Reynolds on Tuesday, estimating 10 million acres of crop damage occurred in that storm. That equates about one third of the state's total crop.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, along with extension agronomists held a press conference this afternoon. Naig announced some key issues many Iowa farmers will face in the coming weeks.

Have you seen this image from NASA's Terra Earth observing satellite? It shows damage in the wake of Monday's derecho....

Posted by KWWL on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The first being how farmers will harvest corn that's been bent in half or lying in fields. Crop disease or plant pathogens that can be fungal, bacterial or viral, also raises a concern.

With less airflow through the crops, the risks of stalk rots and ear molds increases. Identifying the symptoms and knowing when and how to effectively control these diseases is an ongoing challenge.

Secretary Naig and agronomists say it could be up to three or four more weeks before knowledge of disease and how to safely harvest crops this season is known.

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