Barron County farmer loses 140 acres of crops to storm damage

By: Amelia Cerling Email
By: Amelia Cerling Email

Wednesday’s quick moving storm was followed by clear blue skies. But not before one inch sized hail and heavy winds pounded parts of Barron County.

We went to a farm just south west of Rice Lake Wednesday evening to survey the damage and talk to a farmer who says he lost more than 100 acres of crops in the most destructive storm he’s seen in all his years of farming.

As Sue and Paul Millerman survey their crop damage, it is with a heavy heart. They were planning on harvesting their snap beans in just 6 days.

“I'm thinking what a drag, ya know this is our years work and bang its gone,” Paul Millerman says.

Overall Millerman says he lost about 140 acres of crops, out of a total of just under 1000 acres. And while he and Sue are no doubt disappointed, he says it could have been much worse.

“Ya just gotta thank the good Lord that everything's fine and you can do it all over again,” he says.

The Millerman’s have a cooler holding some of the hail collected around their farm, hail that's responsible for so much damage across the county.

“We've had several reports of trees down, large hail, some power lines down, trees on some cars in the city of Rice Lake,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says.

In fact, Fitzgerald said there was so much hail, it looked like it was snow.

He says he's surveyed an extensive amount of damage around Rice Lake, but the people are banding together.

“I think it's neighbors helping neighbors a lot of people helping each other out, as we were pulling up there were some people hooking up their trucks to trees and pulling them out of the way either for themselves or their friends or neighbors,” Fitzgerald says.

Fitzgerald also says while there's a lot of damage, he's happy to report no one was injured.

The Millerman’s say they have crop insurance, but it's not 100 percent. About 45 of their destroyed acres that had snap beans, was valued at about $900 per acre.

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