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A Difficult Summer For Luverne Area Farmers

July 6, 2014, 10:00 PM by Leland Steva

A Difficult Summer For Luverne Area Farmers
LUVERNE, MN -

After a devastating storm hit the area near Luverne three weeks ago, farmers continue assessing damaged crops.

In just a matter of weeks, farmers near Luverne have changed their minds about what their fields need.

"Going from being too dry a month ago and crying for rain and now we're crying that the rain will stop and just dry out," Farmer Gary Overgaard said.

The heavy rain and hail has destroyed crops of many farmers in the area. North of his home, Gary Overgaard lost some of his fields to the storm.

"It's kind of depressing because you put a lot of work and effort into that crop when you plant it in the spring and then to see it all kind of go up in smoke in a few minutes is kind of depressing," Overgaard said.

Overall Overgaard is pleased with his fields. Others aren't so lucky. Some farmers, who didn't want to be interviewed on camera, say they are currently replanting to salvage the season. Others are still waiting to hear about crop insurance, which will help hold them over until next summer.

Rock County Officials estimate 100,000 acres in Rock County were damaged in the storm, or around 40 percent. Overgaard says the crops nation-wide are doing well, which doesn't bode well for local farmers.

"The whole corn belt as a whole in the United States now, the crops are looking pretty fantastic. So it's probably not going to affect our prices. If anything, prices are going down, so it is kind of a double whammy for these guys. If they have livestock and no feed, no crops and then the prices are going down on top of it, so it hurts," Overgaard said.

Which is something area farmers wouldn't have thought just a month ago.

State Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson estimates that 80-90 percent of farmers in Rock County are covered by insurance.

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