Crop recovery is possible: Two Ashtabula County farms produce yields after hail storm


ANDOVER, Ohio — Four months after a hail storm pummeled crop fields in Ashtabula County, the crops are coming off.

The feeling among those contacted is that it could have been worse.

Farmers affected do know that the crops weren’t a total loss and did overcome the damage.

A severe thunderstorm June 25 reportedly dumped more than 2 inches of rain on the area around state Routes 322 and 46 in less than 35 minutes and hailstones measured over 1 inch in diameter.

However, both the Krieg Farms and Coltman Farms are thankful for the outcome. Both admit though that when the storm occurred, they were full of dread.

“It was as bad as you can get and it still survived,” Tim Krieg said.

The Kriegs reported 140 bushels of corn per acre this year in the fields damaged by hail and 29 dry bushels of soybeans to the acre.

The one common theme was that corn stalks were stunted in their growth and they took longer to tassel.

Terry Krieg said the stalks in their heavily damaged field reached the height they are now about a month after the storm and just stopped growing.

“Corn is a little bit shorter than usual, but that is about the worst thing,” Ken Coltman said. “All in all, its been a good year.”

He said his field of high moisture corn that was hit by the hail yielded about 110 bushels per acre. The second cutting of hay, however, was destroyed in the storm, but his saving grace was a good crop of third cutting hay.

“We had an ample supply of it,” Coltman said.

Coltman said his farm didn’t have the silage harvest they were hoping but feel it was better than what they thought they would be able to make after the damage.

He said he lost between 2-3 tons of silage per acre. He averaged around 16 tons of silage this year and in years past, he was able to get between 18-20 tons per acre.

Both farms reported the biggest loss was in their wheat crop.

Coltman reported he averaged 12-14 bushels per acre and the average is 75 bushels per acre.

The Kriegs reported their wheat average 15 bushels per acre and, like Coltman, much of it was lost in the field. They also reported their heavily damaged soybean field managed to yield 30 bushels to the acre after sustaining the heavy damage.

Neither farm reported having crop insurance so both suffered a loss of income from the wheat harvest. The good thing for both farms is that harvest is moving along and some wheat planted is already beginning to sprout for next year’s crop.

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