Bill Cox estimated between one-third and one-half of his 750 acres of barley was lost to Tuesday night’s hail. The rest suffered at least some damage, he said.
Cox, who farms about three miles southwest of Powell, said he had planned to harvest his barley in seven days.
The hail’s impact was widespread, said Rick Stroh, who farms southeast of Powell. At around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Stroh said he was heading out to his fields to assess the damage.
He knew the corn and beans were hit pretty hard on Cemetery Road (Lane 9). Barley in some locations was gone, while the hail damage was minimal in other places on Cemetery Road. Around Garland, hail damage appeared minor, Stroh said.
Stroh said his corn was hit hard near Lane 10.
Jerry Faxon estimated a 30 percent loss of his barley crop north of Powell.
Barley is particularly vulnerable now so near harvest, because the dry seed heads waiting for the combine can break easily under hail, said his wife, Terry Faxon.
“When it’s ripe like that, it just falls off,” Cox said.
Beets may recover, but beans, not so much, farmers explained. Beet plants can grow leaves back, but if beans lose their blooms they cannot grow seed pods, Heart Mountain farmer Ric Rodriguez said.
Jerry Faxon said his sunflowers east of town were hit hard, and his beets on Lane 8 west of Road 12 were pelted extensively. “I would say substantial damage,” Faxon said.
His beets on Lane 8 west of Road 12 showed a great deal of damage, Faxon said.
His barley hail insurance guarantees a certain percentage of crop compensation based on the average yield. For other crops lost, Faxon said he will file claims on his multi-peril insurance.
Rodriguez said he suffered crop damage on a one and one-half by one-half-mile strip of land between Lanes 11 and 9.
His barley was hit the hardest. Harvest was planned in around 10 to 14 days, Rodriguez said.
Some barley plants lost their entire heads, while others lost a few kernels, Rodriguez said.
He won’t know the percentage of losses until insurance adjusters have examined the crops, but he predicted the adjusters would be busy inspecting fields in the area.
Faxon said hail can devastate beet yields in September and even October because the hail-damaged plant will transfer its sugar from the beet to the leaves. “Bottom line,” he said, “it (hail) is never a good thing.”
The Powell area received 0.54 inches of rain early Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Driven by the wind, the rain came down hard.
“The rain probably did as much damage as the hail did,” Rodriguez said.
Cox said lightning nailed the electrical transformer outside his home Tuesday night, causing some electrical damage inside his home. “To add insult to injury,” he added with a unflappable chuckle.
Pray for the farmers, said Klodette Stroh.
“Please be in prayer for the farmers who lost entire fields of crops last night,” said Jill Smith, who with her husband Seaton Smith, owns Gluten Free Oats and contracts with local farmers.
“There is not a grain of barley left on the heads, and the rest of the crops took a hit wherever the storm hit,” Jill Smith said. “It started at about Road 11 and went over the top of us to at least Road 1. We praise God that our oats are OK, but still hurt for those who lost so much.”