High winds during a storm last week resulted in crop losses for some farmers and crop producers in Audrain County.
Although the summer drought in Audrain County has not been as severe as other nearby areas, dry weather combined with the storm could have an adverse effect on the crop yield of farmers and crop producers in the area.
Local farmer Gavin Spoor was one of the farmer who experienced a large amount of crop loss as a result of the high winds. Spoor has 15 acres where he grows popcorn, which is considered a specialty crop in Missouri. He said that around five or six acres where flattened following the storm.
“It’s also the most fertile parts of my farm,” Spoor said. “So even though it’s only a third of the acres, it’s probably a closer to half of my total crop that I won’t have. So that’s a pretty big hit for the amount of acres I’m dealing with.”
Spoor is a first-generation farmer who is currently in his second year of farming and running a small operation. He is also studying Agriculture at the University of Missouri.
“I grew up in the country here around Martinsburg and Laddonnia, and I was amazed by all the big farm equipment,” Spoor said. “When I turned 16 and got my license I started helping guys farm after school. That was my first job.”
According to the MU Extension, Missouri crop loss since 2006 can be largely attributed to excessive heat or drought and excessive moisture or flooding, while less than 10 percent of crop loss is caused by other extreme weather.
The Audrain County Farm Services Agency received several unofficial reports from local crop producers Wednesday. According to the FSA, the majority of the crop damage is in the eastern part of the county.
Business and Agricultural Specialist at the MU Extension said that following the storm, there were streets that had been blocked off because of debris.
Owner/Agent of Audrain Insurance Agency Terry Dungan said some farmers in the Laddonia area have had as much as 30 percent of their crop yield damaged or destroyed.
Dungan said that the company has not yet seen any insurance claims made for downed or lost crops. He said that claims will likely be made at harvest time to make up for losses.
“You’ve got to wait until it’s fall to see what you can get off the ground,” Dungan said. “If you don’t get enough bushel for your federal crop, you’ll get paid on … the amount you don’t have.”
The end of insurance period is the date on which the crop insurance coverage ceases for the crop year. This includes when the crop is destroyed or harvested.
Spoor said that he was originally unaware that his popcorn crops were able to be insured, due to them being specialty crops, which makes his crop loss even more financially straining.
“Next year, moving forward, I’m going to find a way to try and get that insured,” Spoor said. “Because there’s a bunch of money laying out there and I’m not going to have any of it heading my way.”
Fortunately for Spoor, all his eggs aren’t in one basket. He has 40 acres of regular corn and 65 acres of soybeans, though the hit will undoubtedly be felt from the popcorn loss.
Despite the crop loss, Spoor said he remains optimistic for his future in farming and will just look to be more cautious in the future.
“We’re just going to keep on after it,” Spoor said. “A year like this will set you back, but hopefully next year will be better…. You can only control the weather so much. You just have to be cautious. I spend a lot of time crunching numbers, trying to figure out where I can save some money or where I can put money that would make me more.”