Oliver County assessing crop damage after severe weather

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OLIVER COUNTY, N.D. - Farmers are counting their losses after Tuesday's severe weather. High winds, rain and hail hammered fields in Oliver County and bed.

Oliver County Extension Agent Rick Schmidt’s fields also felt mother nature's wrath.

Every step he takes through a decimated pea field, Schmidt struggles to find a plant that survived Tuesday's storms. The field was slated to be combined Wednesday.

"Basically, all these here are going to be empty now,” said Schmidt.

High winds and hail unleashed widespread damage on the peas.

"Peas are such a fragile crop. I mean once they get dried down and get ready to be harvested, it doesn't take a lot for those pods to shell open but it's kind of disheartening. You know you're at the 12th hour and you're ready to combine but Mother Nature beat us to the punch on this field,” said Schmidt.

Losing the crop will also put a dent in the finances.

"It's about a 60 acre field. We'll probably lose in the $11,000 range,” said Schmidt.

Insurance will cover some of the loss and he says he's already moving on to the next plant.

"To be a farmer, you have to be an optimist or you look for a different profession,” said Schmidt.

He says even though he's going to have significant losses from this field, he's going to plant another cover crop and try and turn it into some forage for cattle.