Harvesting derecho-damaged corn poses challenges

Adam Westrum
Adam Westrum lifts the reel attached to his combine to unclog it as he harvests derecho-damaged corn in Boone County. PHOTO / GARY FANDEL

Harvesting corn blown over by the derecho is slow and tedious as farmers slog through tangled cornstalks and dodge debris left behind by the hurricane-force winds.

Farmers are utilizing a range of attachments, including reels and roll-a-cones, to help lift the corn off the ground. And many say keeping the combine moving in a straight path would be impossible without row finders to navigate the twisted corn plants.

“It’s definitely slow going,” said Meaghan Anderson, an Iowa State University field agronomist in central Iowa....

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