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Rain hurting crops more than hail

By Staff | May 24, 2011

This hailstone was collected at Riverview Golf Course after the storm went through Saturday. Photo submitted

With area crops barely peering out of the soil, recent rains have had more affect than Saturday’s hail.

With some hailstones exceeding golf-ball size, Emmet county Emergency director Terry Reekers said Emmet County was fortunate.

Although hail covered the ground in Wallingford and the Ingham Lake area, he had heard no reports of structure damage.

Reekers said Saturday’s hail was unusual in its duration and the area it covered.

Also the storm system that went threw the area came from the south and then split into other storms that went northeast and northwest.

Emmet County Farm Service Agency Director Larry Niles said the crops are still small enough that the hail affected them little.

However he said Estherville had had about 3 1/2 inches of rain since last Thursday.

“We hadn’t received a lot of rain from April 1 through mid-May,” he said.

However east of town, he estimates five to 10 percent of 15,000 to 20,000 has been affected by the recent rains with many crops under water.

“it could take almost two weeks of drying for some farmers to get back in those fields,” said Niles.

Prior to the rains, Niles estimates nearly all the corn was planted while 80 to 85 percent of soybeans had been planted.