Woodbury County farms try to salvage what they can after tornado - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Woodbury County farms try to salvage what they can after tornado


The tornado that touched down near Moville, Iowa, on Friday night hit the Ashley family farm, and many others.

Some farmers in Northwest Iowa are in the midst of figuring out how much they will be reimbursed from their insurance companies.

The Ashley family lost about 1,000 acres of corn that now lay flattened after the tornado ripped through Ashley Acres.

"The tornado twisted it in such a manner that the ears are actually off the stock. The ears are actually on the ground," Farmer Tony Ashley said.

Tony Ashley said there is no way his family will be able to harvest the corn the way it is. His father, Brian, agreed.

"We can't get this fixed, you literally just can't get it fixed for a year," Brian Ashley said.

Unlike the Ashleys, the Utesch family, in Correctionville, Iowa, said their crops are still salvageable. Their main obstacle will be cleaning up the debris.

"Debris in the field will be a challenge, getting the combine down through the bean fields, we'll have to stop, pick pieces of metal out of the way," Farmer Elaine Utesch said.

Both families own cattle. The animals were the first thing they checked on once it was safe to go outside.

"We got home it was dark, of course it was dark, no power, and trying to get around and see, make sure the cattle were okay," Utesch said.

"I headed down toward the cattle yard, and found about a 70 foot hole in the first cattle yard and stood there and kept the cattle in there, cause that's all I could do," Brian Ashley said.

The Ashleys had to move all of their surviving cattle to other farms because their confinement is no longer useable. But, the Uteschs didn't lose a single head of cattle and are keeping them here.

Now, both families wait to find out more about what their insurance companies will cover.

Typically, if the county is considered a disaster area, farmers can apply for financial help from the Farm Service Agency.

The problem is the FSA is closed right now due to the government shutdown.

So, for now, farmers should contact their insurance companies and take as many photos as possible.

That way, when the FSA re-opens, they could possibly submit a claim for damages if the area is designated as a disaster area.

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