Drought, hail cause problems for Logan County farmer

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 4:07 PM CDT
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LOGAN COUNTY, ND - Farmers can’t seem to catch a break this year. First the drought, now many have been hit with hail.

Near Napoleon, one producer was in his field fixing some equipment when a hailstorm hit. All he could do was sit and watch his crop be destroyed. Now, he’s trying to figure out what to do next.

“There are holes in the stalks,” said Bryan Grenz, as he showed his damaged corn field near Napoleon.

This corn field was shaping up to be one of Grenz’s best fields.

Then, it hailed.

Hail(Bryan Grenz)

“It’s heartbreaking,” he said

Golf ball to tennis ball sized hail on July 3 destroyed this irrigated corn and the soybeans one field over.

Hail in the Yard
Hail in the Yard(Bryan Grenz)

“It isn’t a 100% loss, but I’d say it’s 90% yield loss,” he said of that soybean field.

What the hail didn’t get, the drought did.

“We’ve already got leaves starting to die off on the bottom,” Grenz pointed out.

This dryland corn is way behind where it should be this time of year.

“Typically, we should be head high or maybe a little bit better than head high right now,” he said.

Grenz says they’ve had about four inches of rain this growing season; that’s about six inches less than a normal year. While he waits for the crop insurance adjuster to determine the next step in the hailed-out fields, he’s hoping for a couple of nice rains. That could be enough to make this field worth chopping for silage.

“At this point right now we’re just hoping we can wait until it’s tall enough to even have somebody come in and chop help out their cattle operation a little bit,” he said.

Grenz says as bad as this year has been, he knows, it could always be worse.

“We can be thankful crop insurance side of it, we’re actually protected on crop insurance, so we won’t lose the farm this year but with the grain prices where they are, the home run we were hoping to see isn’t going to happen,” Grenz said.

He hopes those prices will remain high, and that next year, Mother Nature will be a little kinder.

Grenz was just seven years old in 1988, but his dad says this year’s drought is shaping up to be worse than the drought of ’88.

Late Monday afternoon, Grenz got the okay from his insurance agent to destroy the hailed-out corn. He is now planting a forage sourgum in those fields. He’s hoping he will be able to chop that for feed.

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