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DERECHO PACKS A PUNCH OF 100 MPH WINDS, FLATTENS CORNFIELDS AND CRUSHES GRAIN BINS ACROSS THE MIDWEST

Hurricane-force winds swept through northern Missouri and Iowa and all the way east to Illinois and Indiana on Thursday. The derecho brought wind gusts up to 100 mph in places, flattening cornfields. The storm system also brought crucial rains. While it might not be enough to cure the drought, the rains could help rescue some of the drought-ravaged crops.

According to Accuweather, a derecho is a storm that brings a punch of at least 58 mph winds over the span of at least 400 miles. The storm on Thursday barreled across the Midwest, with some of hardest-hit states being Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. The storm then turned and went south, hitting Tennessee.

Ken Ferrie, owner of Crop-Tech Consulting, was in the middle of the storm. He spoke to AgWeb’s Rhonda Brooks about potential damage, estimating the derecho crossed at least two-thirds of Illinois.

“It’s pretty widespread,” says Ferrie who lives in Heyworth, Ill., just south of Bloomington. “It hit between 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. yesterday.”

The storm also brought more than an inch of much-needed rain, which may have saved many of the Illinois corn and soybean crops. Ferrie says there is quite a bit of cleanup that will need to take place with down trees and other damage, and he’s still trying to assess the impact on the crops.

“I have not seen any corn snapped like the derecho in Iowa where crops were just snapped and flat, but there’s a lot of corn laying over,” says Ferrie.

  • Phote Credit: Matthew Bennett

SDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says the storm was widespread, impacting an area from the Central Great Plains and northern Missouri, all the way to the Tennessee River Valley. 

“The derecho on June 29th was oddly reminiscent of the massive derecho that struck the Midwest on August 10, 2020,” he says. “Now the aerial extent was not quite as large as the August 2020 events and the winds were not quite as high. But nevertheless, we did see widespread 60 to 100 mph winds emerging early in the day on the 29th.”

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