But for those in southeast
The good news: It could have been much worse, experts say.
"I've seen some aerial photos and there are some portions you can see about 75 feet wide from the tornado, but it doesn't look like it was a major disaster or anything,"
While the damage to the crops seems to have been limited, debris in the fields from the storms can create headaches going forward.
Navigating fields with slabs of lumber, siding and insulation scattered throughout can pose serious hazards to machinery, said
"As soon as possible, they're going to have to get out there and look for some of that stuff or be very vigilant from the seat of that combine and watch out," Downs said. "A guy's going to have to know where the path of that thing was and every time he comes to that path he's going to have to be extremely cautious and try not to run that debris into the machine."
In a cornfield full of standing crops, finding debris can be a nearly impossible task.
If nothing else, it's a time-consuming one.
"What might take you four hours in the field on the combine, you can spend two or three days on it. It makes you just want to bang your head against the wall," said
The fear anytime a tornado touches down is the wind whipping in different directions, twisting everything around. Straight-line winds, where the crop is flattened in one direction, are far more manageable for farmers.
"There are add-ons we can put onto our combines and our corn heads. There's a pick-up reel that will help to feed the downed stalks into the downed corn head," said
For the most part, soybeans hold up better in tornadoes than corn does, according to Gordon and Downs.
Farmers with wind insurance policies, as well as the regular crop hail insurance, can typically recoup whatever's lost, area farmers say.
Take it from Downs: high winds can wreak as much havoc on crops as any weather event.
"We've got a lot of wind damage right where I'm at from the windstorm that happened
"I've been in fields where you start the combine at one end and you've got corn that should be 10-12 feet high and you can see a dog running across the field a half-mile away," Gordon said. "That's the worst I've seen and I hope to God I never see it again."
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