Crop Hail Damage - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Crop Hail Damage

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A fast-moving severe thunderstorm caused a lot of damage in central North Dakota last night.

The storm developed in the Williston area and raced to the southeast, hitting its strongest and most destructive point in Mountrail, Mercer, and Morton Counties.

We have a look at damage from all three of those areas, beginning with Jim Olson near New Town.

The storm looked kind of pretty as captured by Austin Miller near New Town. Here's what it looked like after the storm passed at one oil company site. And this is what it looked like Monday morning.

(Scott Ruland, Mountrail County Farmer) "This stuff was up to your waist two days ago, and now the hailstorm came through..."

That's right, this barley field was waist high Sunday afternoon. And now, it's been beaten into submission by a wicked hailstorm.

(Scott Ruland, Mountrail County Farmer) "That canola field was night, bright yellow yesterday - tremendous canola field - and it got hailed out pretty severely."

This is the scene within a couple of miles of New Town - and here is what it looks like eight miles away - farther to the southeast - another field leveled.

(Scott Ruland, Mountrail County Farmer) "The path that got hit, it took it all. There's sunflower fields, soybeans, corn, this is barley here behind us that was just an outstanding crop, canola across the way. Anything that was in the way got hit."

(Chad Pennington, Mountrail County Farmer) "There isn't a whole lot left on most of it, most of it is pretty much zeroed out. There ain't a whole lot of crop left anywhere." (And how was the crop looking? "It was an excellent crop coming, one of the better ones in quite a few years."

And there's the rub - in a year that saw many acres go unplanted due to high moisture, crops in this part of Mountrail County were looking good.

(Jim Hennessey, Mountrail County Agent)"For the most part we did pretty good. Most of the county got planted, especially when you get in this part things looked really good, we had some tremendous yields coming and then last night pretty much took care of a lot of that."

County Agent Jim Hennessey says the storm wrecked fields over a very large area at the south end of the county.

(Jim Hennessey, Mountrail County Agent) "A lotta these guys down here were a week-and-a-half, two weeks ahead of the north end of the county and they were getting ready to start putting fungicides down and they've already got a lot of money invested in this crop and basically won't see any return."

And so some farmers around New Town who thought they had avoided the major problems with planting this year have now seen their luck turn - with the passage of one storm. In Mountrail County, Jim Olson, KX News.

Hennessey says the area hit by hail was from three to 10 miles wide on the south side of Lake Sakakawea.

 

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