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Nebraska farmer expects slow harvest from July windstorm as recovery continues

South-Central Nebraska farmer Michael Bergen says he’s still cleaning up the mess from a July windstorm that devastated most of his corn crop.  “Well, to be really honest, it’s been real hard,” Bergen says. “It’s been a challenging summer, physically a lot of clean up, mentally – trying to pick up the pieces and figure out where we’re going.”

The first-generation grower tells Brownfield crop insurance adjusters visited last week and determined 85 percent of his crop was affected. “The majority of the corn was in that 10-20 percent like I thought, but the worst stuff is up around 70 percent green snap.”

He says there’s about 10 percent top end yield loss in fields that didn’t sustain major damage. “That plant shutdown for 5-7 days and we didn’t see any growth. There’s some pollination issues and I think’s it’s just because that plant was whipped so hard. It would surprise me if we found anything much better then what our expectations are, but we will definitely have a longer harvest season because of the challenges of trying to pick up some of the corn that’s broke over or leaning pretty hard.”

He says he’s waiting to rebuild a grain bin that hasn’t arrived but expects it to be operational for the start of harvest.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a slower harvest,” Bergen says. “It’s going to be a little bit stressful on the combine operator just to get through some of this stuff that’s been ripped up pretty good in the wind.”  

Bergen says he will start with soybeans and then begin irrigated corn.

Michael Bergen of Hamilton County:

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