Some Agricultural Drainage Systems in Minnesota Blocked by Hail

Farmers have different types of drainage systems installed in and around their fields. This is so heavy rains do not cause them to love significant amounts of their crops. Lost crops mean lost money and they also warrant an insurance claim. There are a number of inconveniences that stem from this.

In one case, a farmer lost everything due to rain and hail. Any drainage he did have, such as culverts, were blocked by the three feet of hail that resulted from a 45 minute haul storm. It took a very long time for the hail to melt out of the ditches, which caused even further drainage issues because the rain that occurred produced 6 inches of rain in a short period of time. His existing drainage systems were overwhelmed.

Out of the 1100 acres of farmland, it is expected that the entire crop was a total loss. Such is the story with other farmers that experienced this rain and now they are waiting on crop adjusters to see whether or not the crop is going to be able to come back.

Various areas of Minnesota suffered from the storm that moved through. So far in June, some areas have seen over a foot of rain and that has caused a number of issues. In some cases, cattle are still out of their pastures because of flood waters and fences that have come down. This has caused some farmers to prioritize, such as having to use shop vacs in their basements to get the water out as quickly as possible, as well as empty their basements of sewer backup. Others are dealing with broken windows from golf ball-sized hail.

One farmer learned that he could recover $34 per acre with his crop insurance if he wants to replant the crop. He said he needs to replant corn because he needs a lot of corn for silage, adding that he has already been on the phone with seed dealers to obtain seeds for 75 or 80 day corn. He said he will be able to get the seed, but there is not a lot. As long as no more rain comes about and the seeds can get planted, it should be okay for them.

Aside from the damage to crop fields, pastures sustained a great deal of damage. Four days after the rains, some areas were still under water. This has resulted in cattle having to be rounded up and moved. Once the fields drain, that will need to be done again. The areas that are not underwater don’t look bad, but there is water surrounding those areas. While there are drainage lines in place to drain the water away from these fields, for some farmers, they are not large enough to handle the amount of water that needs to be drained out of the fields.

What this does mean is that the drought is possibly over. While many farmers would like to spread the rainfall throughout the summer, it seems to be coming all at once.

It is expected that some farmers may try to replant corn for silage and more will try to replant their soybeans. July 1st is typically the cutoff for planting. Farmers have been advised to keep in touch with their crop insurance advisors to assess their crops over the coming days.