Fierce storms strip leaves from soybeans, damage farm buildings
July 23, 2018
- Fast moving storm produced winds up to 90 mph
- Farm damage reported in Perry, White counties
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
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LITTLE ROCK – Chainsaws became the soundtrack this week as Arkansans cleaned up after storms Saturday unleashed a barrage of large hail, high winds and lightning that left behind downed trees, damaged homes, farms and businesses, and thousands without electricity.
“During the predawn hours, a huge hailstorm tracked from Fayetteville toward Clarksville and weakened,” the National Weather Service at Little Rock said in its online event reporting. From there, the storm moved southeastward at 40 to 50 mph along the Arkansas River “and bowed out. This bowing line of storms cranked out 70- to 90 mph winds at times.”
More than 63,000 people were without power as utilities scrambled to scout damage and bring linemen in other states to help restore electricity.
“We had a lot of structural damage in Perry County as 90 mph straight-line winds came through,” said Kevin Lawson, Faulkner County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, whose hometown of Houston was hard-hit. “Lots of trees down and power is still out in places. Crops look fine, but we did have a horse fatality.”
On social media, Lawson shared photos of corrugated metal buildings collapsed on a tractors, implements and other farm equipment and an irrigation pivot thrown on its side.
Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the Division of Agriculture, said Sunday he “had received two reports of hail damage to soybeans from north of McRea and the other near Hickory Plains.” Ross photographed soybean acreage were nothing but stems were left after hail shredded the leaves.
White County Extension Agent Jan Yingling said at one of the farms, the soybeans were a total loss.
“Not sure of the economic damage at this time,” she said and estimated that 160 acres each of soy and rice sustained storm damaged.
In Independence County, Extension Staff Chair Nathan Reinhart said, “We had a few power poles break and a stop light get struck by lightning. We had a few trees damaged around the county but most went south and east of Independence County.
Robert Goodson, Phillips County extension agent for the Division of Agriculture, said Sunday there were outages in Monroe County and a small percentage of corn blown down by high winds.
“We did get some beneficial rain – a couple of inches in places,” he said. “This might be enough in places to finish the corn crop. Just have to wait and see.”
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service