Naig: Federal Relief Funds Are Critical to Help Iowa Agriculture Community Impacted by Derecho

DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 18, 2020) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and others met with President Trump in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to discuss the effect the derecho had on Iowa’s farmers, landowners and businesses.

“Today, I had the opportunity to meet with President Trump about the emotional, financial and logistical challenges the derecho has caused for our agriculture community. I appreciate the President’s willingness to travel to Iowa to learn about the damage first-hand and speak with some of the farmers and agribusinesses who suffered tremendous losses during last week’s storm. These farmers have had a very challenging year, and the federal financial aid package President Trump approved is a critical step in the recovery process.”

Estimated Crop Damage

Last week, the USDA RMA reported 57 counties in Iowa were in the path of the derecho. There are approximately 8.2 million acres of corn and 5.6 million acres of soybeans in those counties that may have been impacted by the storm.

Based on MODIS 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 3.57 million acres of corn and 2.5 million acres of soybeans.

Estimated Commercial Grain Storage Losses

Several cooperatives located in central and east-central Iowa are reporting sites damaged by the derecho. Early estimates indicate more than 57 million bushels of permanently-licensed grain storage was seriously damaged or destroyed. The co-ops estimate it will cost more than $300 million to remove, replace or repair the damaged grain storage bins.

Tens of millions of bushels of on-farm storage were also lost during the storm. This may create grain storage challenges as farmers head into the 2020 harvest. In 2019, Iowa farmers harvested 2.6 billion bushels of corn and 502 million bushels of soybeans, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

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About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 12 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

Media Contact:
Keely Coppess
Communications Director
(515) 326-1616           
Keely.Coppess@IowaAgriculture.gov