7/24/2017 10:32:00 AM Storms bring damage to southern Minnesota
Silage bags on the Kral farm, operated by Joey and Doug, were punched full of holes by hail that fell on the evening of July 9. Doug Kral patched the holes with duct tape. PHOTO BY RUTH KLOSSNER
A corn field that was a week from tasseling was shredded by hail on the Kral farm. PHOTO BY RUTH KLOSSNER
By Ruth Klossner
LAFAYETTE, Minn. - When storms rocked the area of Winthrop and New Ulm, Minn., July 9, several dairymen's operations took a hit from hail. The Doug Kral farm, New Ulm, incurred hail damage. Doug's son and farming partner, Joey, spoke on crop damage as well as damage to silage bags. "I don't think the corn will make dairy feed," Joey said. "It won't put ears on. It will probably be heifer feed. It's too bad. The corn was only about a week from tasseling." While the farm's alfalfa field also took a beating, Doug figured it would be OK, but could be pushed back a week or so. The farm's silage bags are speckled with black dots after being punched repeatedly by hail that ranged up to golf ball size. Doug went to town the morning after the storm to purchase the best duct tape he could find. He taped numerous holes. Although some roofs were visually damaged, Joey reported no structural damage other than a few broken windows. "Nobody got hurt and at least we have livestock so we can salvage the corn," Doug said. "We had about 85 acres that got hit. One good thing, we got moisture. The crops had been showing stress." Joey reported about three inches of rain. The town of Lafayette, four miles north of Kral's farm, was pummeled with heavy hail and high winds. Dairy farmer John Wenninger, whose farm is located two miles northeast of Lafayette, incurred damage. "We were lucky, compared to other crop farmers nearby," Wenninger said. "All of our corn has some damage, but it's hard to say how bad it is. There's still a chance it will make a decent yield. It's already looking better after two days, shooting up a new leaf or two. The beans don't look terrible, but if you look closely you can see bruising." Wenninger's five silage bags also took a hit, reporting hundreds of holes in each bag. One bag had a four-inch divot. Wenninger plans to apply an acrylic latex roof coating to seal the bags. Wenninger expects three building roofs plus the house will need to be replaced. One of those buildings is a brand new shed completed only a month ago. Overhead doors look like they were banged with a hammer. The Anderson farm, known as Bernadotte Holsteins and located two miles east and north, received hail on 40 acres of corn and 20 acres of beans. The farm's wheat field was spared as there was a definite cut-off line. Like Lafayette, the city of Winthrop, located five miles northwest of Andersons, took heavy storm damage. Car windows were broken by baseball size hail. High winds also broke and uprooted numerous trees.