HAIL DAMAGE: Farmers lose acres of crops, thousands in revenue - KMSP-TV

HAIL DAMAGE: Farmers lose acres of crops, thousands in revenue

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In the aftermath of Tuesday's hailstorm, many people were talking about the stone-ravaged cars and homes in the metro -- but area farmers say their crops suffered a major blow too.

In Hastings, a nearly century-old farm sustained some serious hail damage -- bruised apples, dented watermelons, stripped soybeans, and wrecked rhubarb. Just a glimpse of the hail damage at the Stoffel Family Farm's garden and crops shows that the family is taking a major financial hit.

"My folks moved in here 1916, we never had hail insurance," chuckled Wally Stoffel.

Stoffel told FOX 9 News crop insurance never seemed necessary.

"It costs some $50,000 for hail insurance, but if it comes every three years, we're still ahead of the game," he explained.

The Stoffel Family Farm encompasses 800 acres. About 160 are full of sweet corn, 400 acres are dedicated to other corn and about 300 acres grow soybeans. When Stoffel woke up on Wednesday, he found his vegetable garden, apple tree and soybeans took the brunt of the storms wrath.

"We'll probably get half a crop if we're lucky," he estimated.

When Stoffel refers to half a crop, he's talking big money.

"If you go 50 bushels to the acre, that's $12 a bushel," smiled Stoffel.

At 50 bushels to the acre for $12 a bushel, each acre produces $600 worth of soybeans. Multiply that by 300 acres, and that's an expected $180,000 yield. That means losing half is a loss of $90,000.

"[The yield] isn't yours yet, you hope you're going to get it and so many things can happen before you get it," Stoffel mused.

The Stoffels have no choice but to wait it out. They won't know exactly what the crop yield will be until the combine hits the field this fall.

"You tie a lot of money into putting the crops in now a days, but you see now, half of the year is gone. So, there's not a lot of payback for what it costs to put in," Greg Stoffel, Wally's son, told FOX 9.

Even without insurance, both father and son agree on how farmers under these circumstances move forward from here.

"We take what we get and go the next year," a motto Greg Stoffel says is adopted by most farmers.

"Feast or famine. That's the way it works," nodded Wally.

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