Rod Pierce looks at grain-drying bins on his farm that were damaged in the derecho near Woodward, Iowa. (AP)

Rod Pierce looks at grain-drying bins on his farm that were damaged in the derecho near Woodward, Iowa. (AP)

Mr. Pierce walks through a damaged cornfield. Many Iowa farmers had big crop losses from the storm. (AP)

Mr. Pierce walks through a damaged cornfield. Many Iowa farmers had big crop losses from the storm. (AP)

Derechos can be very destructive storms. Unlike tornados, they move in straight lines. (NOAA)

Derechos can be very destructive storms. Unlike tornados, they move in straight lines. (NOAA)

The derecho hit several Midwestern states. But it was especially damaging in Iowa, with winds of up to 140 mph. (AP)

The derecho hit several Midwestern states. But it was especially damaging in Iowa, with winds of up to 140 mph. (AP)

Farmers tried to save what they could. This time, many crops couldn’t be saved. (AP)

Farmers tried to save what they could. This time, many crops couldn’t be saved. (AP)

Double Damage

Posted: January 1, 2021

A rare derecho storm slammed Iowa in August. Wind gusts blasted up to 140 miles per hour. The storm hovered over the state for what seemed like an endless 14 hours. It damaged homes, trees, and power lines. It crushed crops. Months later, reports show crop losses are growing.

“Derecho” is the Spanish word for “straight.” A derecho storm is a violent wind storm. It does not spin like a tornado. It moves in a straight line. This storm flattened millions of acres of corn crops. Some of the corn could be saved, but 850,000 acres of crops were lost. That’s according to a new report from the United States Department of Agriculture. The crop loss is double the damage expected! 

Timing was terrible. The storm hit too close to harvest time. Allan Curtis is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He says there wouldn’t have been so much loss if the storm happened in the spring. Late summer crops were tall. They caught the wind.

“If you were looking to exert the most damage on corn crops when it comes to thunderstorms and heavy winds, when the derecho rolled through in August, it was the perfect time to do it,” says Mr. Curtis.

Usually, farmers try to harvest corn that is down. They salvage (save) what they can. This time, many crops couldn’t be saved. Farmers asked crop insurance adjusters to take a second look at their fields.

Steve Swenka is a farmer in eastern Iowa. He says that harvesting his downed corn has “just been miserable. Corn down, flat as a carpet. Some leaning. Some halfway down. And some almost normal.”

The storm didn’t stop in Iowa. It flew through Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and Indiana. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it is probably the second costliest United States disaster in 2020.  

Genesis 8:22 says, “While the Earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” God orders each season, making crops grow. He always provides exactly what we need.