Summer harvests looked bountiful just two days ago, according to local farmers.
But a devastating storm that swept across southern Alberta on Monday afternoon left crops grim.
Cereal and sugar beet plants in Lethbridge County have been left with broken and twisted stems, the once promising yield now completely flattened.
Marble-sized hail and fast-moving dark clouds crossed the sky early Monday.
“I knew we were going to get something seeing this one happen,” said farmer Arnie Bergen-Henengowen.
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Lethbridge County experienced some aspects of the large windstorm that swept through southern Alberta bringing winds up to 140 km/h. The greatest extent of damage from the storm occurred in Cypress County, where it left several families without homes and many structures completely destroyed.
“[We] had a very good harvest ahead,” Bergen-Henengowen told Global News. “[It’s] quite disappointing to see him disappear like that.
“It was a 20-minute storm but it had 12 months of impact for us,” added Leighton Kolk, another farmer in the area who also lost crops. He guessed that the fields that were in the path of the storm are between 40 and 100 percent wiped out.
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“This land is gone. The corn is all broken up and the canola is no longer yellow – it’s kind of a dull green,” Kolk said. He said the damage from the storm will likely lead to reduced cash flow for farmers over the next few months, as well as the possibility of a lack of winter feed – a potentially bigger problem for some. farmers.
The next step for farmers is to contact their insurers and try to recover what is left in their fields.
“These losses are still devastating to the farming community, and yesterday’s inclement weather has only added to the recent challenges we have faced as producers,” Reeve Tory Campbell said, noting how he is important for those affected by the storm to take care of their mental health in the wake of this loss.
“We are a strong farming community and we need to support each other during difficult times,” he said in a press release on Tuesday.
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