Posted: Jun 19, 2013 9:57 AM by Jason Laird - MTN News
BILLINGS - Last week's storms in the Billings area produced damaging winds and massive hail.
Many homes and businesses saw just what 60+ mph winds can do, and local farmers are feeling the pain.
"As little as three minutes of hail can take an entire year's worth of work away from you. It's kind of a devastating feeling," says Luke Lackman of Lackman Feeders. "We probably sustained about a 25 to 30% loss on that spring wheat."
It's not hard to see the damage caused by last week's storms. Although many crop varieties felt the effects of the hail, wheat was the hardest hit.
"The wheat can still be harvested, but you won't get hardly any grains," says Steve Lackman of Lackman Feeders and Ag Extension Agent with MSU-B. "Because of the hail damage, the head didn't come out right."
Hail ruined the wheat crop by damaging the top kernels on the stems. A small portion of the crop will be harvested, but the grain count will be low, resulting in up wards of a 30 percent loss in crop profit.