Storms damage crops in Sedgwick County

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) Farmers in Sedgwick County said the storm Tuesday damaged some of their crop. Hail and flooding caused damage to wheat and corn fields across the county.

Max Tjaden farms wheat, corn, milo and soybean in the Clearwater area and went out to look at his wheat fields Wednesday to see if there was any damage. It turned out, there was.

"I found some moderate damage. A lot of the heads, the heads have been, kernels have been knocked out. The top of the head has been knocked out. There's one the leaves have been completely stripped off and they're kind of small heads," Tjaden said.

He said the wheat crop was suffering anyway because of the drought in Kansas. Once the hail came, it caused more issues, including splitting some important leaves.

"The problem with that is the plant's deriving most of it's energy now, sunlight energy from this flag leaf and they're split and so they're damaged and more of that damage will show up in a few days," he said. "We were in the target zone for hail, I guess."

At harvest time, Tjaden expects to lose three to four bushels an acre because of this damage.

Tjaden said at his home, he got 3 1/4 inches of rain. He said he knows others who got a little more than two inches and one farmer who got only 1 1/2 inches. One of Tjaden's fields east of Clearwater had five inches.

That heavy rain flooded some fields, including one of Tjaden's corn fields that he planted three weeks ago.

"Probably one time last night, it's not a big field about 25 acres but about 20 of it was under water, so that was a little bit much and it's slowly draining off this morning," he said.

If it can drain quickly enough or get enough sunlight, Tjaden said the crop may be okay. But if the water stays and doesn't percolate into the ground, the plants will drown and die.

"It's part of the deal and you know and most, at least I do, I have crop insurance on all of these acres so I can take a little bit of a hit and still be okay," Tjaden said.

After all, he said it is Kansas farming and that means bargaining with Mother Nature.

"You don't want to turn down moisture when it comes in this part of the world but again there can be too much of a good thing sometimes," he said."