CHICAGO (Reuters) – A severe windstorm last week destroyed or seriously damaged more than 57 million bushels of commercial grain storage capacity in Iowa and a similar amount on farms, the state’s agriculture department estimated on Tuesday, raising concerns ahead of the autumn harvest.
Fresh estimates of the damage from the Aug. 10 derecho emerged as U.S. President Donald Trump prepared to visit Iowa, the top U.S. corn producing state, the day after approving disaster aid for the state.
The storm crumpled steel storage bins, flattened corn fields, caused widespread damage in towns and left thousands of people without power.
The destruction compounded troubles for a U.S. agricultural economy already battered by extreme weather, the U.S.-China trade war and disruptions to labor and food consumption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iowa’s agriculture department said it will cost more than $300 million to remove, replace or repair the damaged grain storage bins.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool)