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Row crops often get priority attention when a hailstorm rolls through, but bad storms can do a number on perennial forages as well. When hail …

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"I think the thing I miss most about Dad not being around isn’t the additional time I might have had with him. It’s the time my kids might have had, and my grandkids, too."

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The damages it caused to dairy farms was immense. Free-stall barns had the roofs completely ripped off, exposing cattle to the elements. A milking parlor had a portion of the roof missing, with metal and insulation hanging from the exposed rafters. 

"It’s amazing how you can go from an excellent crop to a average crop, and if conditions stay hot and dry, crops will deteriorate more. In our area light ground is toast. Even if rain occurs, it’s done," Crop Watcher Kelly Nieuwenhuis said from his northwestern Iowa farm. 

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A weather phenomenon called a “derecho” carved a swath of destruction across large portions of the state Aug. 10. Iowa ag officials estimate nearly one-third of Iowa’s cropland – or almost 10 million acres of soybeans and corn – sustained damage. “This was Iowa’s version of a Cat-I or II hurricane.”

A few days after the Fourth of July, I woke up and looked out the bedroom window to see tree branches strewn across the grass and lawn chairs …

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