Emergency Hail Meeting

January-March 2002

Clarke McGrath, crop field specialist


Problem: On July 17, 2001 a severe thunderstorm hit large areas of Montgomery and Adams counties. Hail and high winds caused the most damage to crops in the Stanton/Villisca/Nodaway area. Many area producers were left with severely damaged crop fields, with little idea what to do with them. Clients had critical issues to address such as injured soybean management or replanting, making corn into silage or grazing it and when to harvest damaged hay crops. Gathering the latest research information and recommendations quickly was important in helping clients make the right decisions in a timely manner.


Response:
The morning after the storm, the Montgomery and Adams County Extension Education Directors, Extension field specialists and local agronomy suppliers organized an emergency hail meeting for producers to be held that afternoon. Local ag suppliers called clients and area radio stations promoted the meeting. Individual grower visits were scheduled for that day and the rest of the week.
The "traveling" emergency meeting was held in several local fields to review damage and offer options for how to treat different crops and various levels of damage. Local schools supplied buses and ISU Extension specialists transported clients and training materials. I prepared hail information handouts and exercises were prepared to help producers determine what to do with their crops.

Impact: That week ISU Extension staff assisted more than 60 growers and agribusiness clients at the hail meeting and individual farm visits. Clients surveyed indicated that the information provided by ISU Extension was very timely and extremely valuable in helping them decide what action to take with the damaged crops. All indicated that the ISU assistance was the primary source of information they used to make the crop management decisions. Farmers took a number of different actions including: making soybean hay, corn silage, grazing corn, delayed hay harvest, leaving crops for normal harvest, reseeding and replanting.

 

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