Hail damage to mid-Michigan field crops

Early summer storms bring hail and crop damage to some mid-Michigan fields.

Recent storms brought not only badly needed rain for mid-Michigan crops, but some also brought hail. The amount of crop loss depends on the severity or intensity of the hail and the crop growth stage.

Generally, hailstorms during corn tasseling or soybean pod fill can cause the most damage and yield reduction. Fortunately, fields in mid-Michigan hit by the hail were in vegetative growth stages and likely can recover and still produce a “good” yield. Areas affected are isolated and severity of the hail appears to be intense in some spots, but overall relatively mild.

The damage from hail looks the worst immediately after the storm. In four to 10 days, recovery should be apparent, especially with the moisture and temperature conditions in these fields.

Wheat fields were ripe and ready for harvest when the hail storms hit mid-Michigan. Some of the fields with intense hail had significant wheat shelled out on to the ground. A bigger concern is the potential of sprouts if hot and humid conditions persist.

There are numerous good resources available to help assess hail damage. A couple of these resources include the National Corn Handbook NCH-1, Assessing Hail Damage to Corn, and the University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension Publication EC-128, Evaluating Hail Damage to Soybeans. Your crop insurance adjuster and local MSU Extension educator are also valuable resources to help make damage assessments and evaluate potential action to take.

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