By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director

Hurricane-force winds tore through the Midwest this week, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The storm, known as a derecho, passed from South Dakota to Ohio, knocking out power for more than a million people, blowing down trees, damaging buildings and grain bins, and flattening crops. In Iowa, the hardest hit state, 10 million acres of farmland weathered 100+ mile per hour gusts. While the full extent of damage is still being assessed, as much as 43 percent of the corn and soybeans grown in the state may have been affected.

Even before the storm, many farmers were facing crop losses due to severe drought conditions; the two disasters combined could cut severely into some operations’ revenue this year. If that weren’t enough, the agricultural sector is still in chaos due to the pandemic. Though conditions have improved marginally, farmers continue to deal with the disappearance of major markets, the after effects of supply chain disruptions, and depressed prices.

To assist farmers affected by the storm, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial support; learn more here.

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