Ron Heck surveys damage caused by the derecho on August

Ron Heck surveys damage to his grain storage after the Aug. 10 derecho. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Picking up the pieces

October 12, 2020 | Joe Murphy

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency reported 57 counties in Iowa were in the path of the Aug. 10 derecho, which stretched 770 miles from southern South Dakota to western Ohio. Approximately 5.6 million acres of soybeans and 8.2 million acres of corn in those 57 Iowa counties may have been impacted by the storm.

Based on satellite imagery and Storm Prediction Center preliminary storm reports, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship believes 36 counties in Iowa were hardest hit by the derecho. Within those 36 counties, the storm likely had the greatest impact on 2.5 million acres of soybeans and 3.57 million acres of corn. Additionally, 57 million bushels of commercial grain storage capacity in Iowa was destroyed or seriously damaged. Similar damage was made to on-farm grain storage capacity.

This story was originally published in the October 2020 issue of the Iowa Soybean Review.


A field of corn is flattened after the derecho.

An elevator in Luther received extensive damage.

A cornfield is flattened revealing a farmstead that received damage.

Ron Heck's farm had extensive damage from the Aug. 10 derecho.


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