Stripped to the stem – an Ingalls farmer sees the impact that hail had on his crops


GRAY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Hail storms swept across parts of western Kansas Saturday and Sunday evening. The damage from those storms may be enough to keep some farmers from harvesting this year’s crop. 

“We did have a guy call in on his wheat saying he thought he had some sixty bushel wheat, now he said it might be three bushel wheat. He’s hoping he can get the damaged heads picked up, but that’s just the risk these farmers run,” said Neal Beery, Crop Supervisor at Keller-Leopold Insurance.

Those hail storms pelted many corn, milo, and wheat fields.

Here north of Ingalls and into the Cimarron and Kalvesta areas, farmers saw devastating losses.

Brad Irsik is a long-time farmer in the Ingalls area. 

His fields were a magnet for the hail.

“This is probably the most hail spread out over the whole farm that we’ve ever had. But this last one, it, it took its toll. It did a lot of damage,” said Irsik.

A healthy head of wheat is full of berries. Irsik’s wheat is stripped to the stem.

“I had wheat that probably won’t get harvested, and then, I have some wheat that’ll get harvested but it’ll definitely be down on bushels,” he said.

He also had corn and milo fields that were hit hard.

“The milo will probably be okay, come out of it. The corn some of it will come out of it, some of it will have to be possibly replanted, but it’s getting late, almost too late to replant it,” he said.

His entire season of work was washed away with the rain.

“As far as timing goes, that’s probably the worst thing that can happen because you’ve already spent all the money getting into that stage, ready to harvest, and now you’re, yeah, you’re out completely,” he said.

For the farmers with hail insurance, they will be better off, but for those that don’t, they are now hoping their crops are salvageable at best.

“It’s a bad feeling. But, it’s part of the game that you play with farming,” he said.

After speaking with custom cutters about Irsik’s fields, they say, this is the worst widespread hail damage they have seen in nearly 50 years and it won’t be until the combines get back in the field, that they’ll be able to determine how bad the crops were hit.


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