Crop damage estimates from last week’s derecho storm are still climbing. The violent thunderstorms traveled over 700 miles from Nebraska to Indiana.
The storm was so powerful, as of last Thursday, more than 300,000 people hadn’t had power restored in northern Illinois and Iowa, which was the hardest-hit state.
The Washington Post says the 70 mile-per-hour winds hit more than 10 million acres of corn and soybeans in Iowa, adding more difficulty to an already challenging year for farmers. Up to 43 percent of the state’s corn and soybean crop suffered some level of damage from the storms, a big blow to the $10 billion agriculture industry that anchors Iowa’s economy.
The damage was so extensive that it was even visible on weather satellites that were used to track the storm. Meteorologist Steven Bowen said on Twitter that “This has all the makings of a billion-dollar impact on agriculture in Iowa and Illinois. With that said, it will take some time for farmers to determine how much of the downed crops are salvageable for harvest.”