Eastern Iowa Sweet Corn Farm Ends Harvest Due to Storm Damage
An Eastern Iowa farm known for the sweet corn and other homegrown vegetables has had to end their season early, due to extensive storm damage in the region. KWWL reports that Kerns Homegrown near Oelwein made the unfortunate announcement on their Facebook page after taking a look at their fields.
The storms that rolled through the area this past Tuesday packed both powerful winds and damaging hail as well. KWWL reports that the storm damaged around 100,000 pounds of beans and 35,000 dozens of sweet corn. The owners of Kerns Homegrown said that they still had around 50% of their green beans left to harvest, and around 25% of the sweet corn crop. Now, it's all gone.
Owner Blake Kerns to KWWL that just 24 hours earlier they were picking 5,000 ears of corn an hour. Now, stalks are laying completely down. They also said that its the first time they've ever seen hail get through the husk of the corn and rupture the kernels. A tour of the fields left them no choice but to end their harvest season early. Kerns had planned to sell sweet corn into early October. They did say they were able to find a few green beans that weren't destroyed and hadn't yielded yet. Those will be sold into October.
KWWL reports that Kerns Homegrown also grow grain, like field corn and soybeans. But unlike fresh produce, those crops are able to be protected by insurance. Kerns stated it is sad to see the crops, that had made it through the drought and were producing good, to be damaged so quickly.