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Delta farmers deal with historic rainstorm aftermath

Posted at 9:48 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 23:48:51-04

DELTA, Utah — After a record-breaking storm brought inches of rain and hail to a central Utah town, farmers are learning large portions of their crops have been damaged or destroyed.

“When that hail came through, it just thrashed it,” said Justin Louder, a lifelong farmer in Delta.

He showed FOX 13 rows of corn damaged by the hail.

WATCH: Delta residents face another day of flooding; cleanup continues

Instead of a rich green color, the stalks of corn are a pale white color.

The same is true for the hay crop.

“The storm came the time when most of the people were in the middle of the harvest,” said David Johnson.

He too has spent his entire life farming in Delta.

Johnson estimates he lost a 20-acre plot of alfalfa seed worth thousands of dollars.

“It knocked all the burrs off the plants and they are laying on the ground and we can’t salvage them,” he said.

This summer has already been a challenge because of Utah’s extreme drought.

While farmers here were praying for rain, the size and timing of this storm, right around the harvest season, provided a double punch.

Johnson says the losses are not catastrophic.

“It’s just farming, you just roll with the punches. There is always next year,” he said.

While the farmers expect to survive the hit delivered by this storm, they feel anxiety about next year.

“Next year, if we don’t have a wet winter, next year is going to be really serious,” Johnson said.

They are still hoping and praying for precipitation, but they hope it comes when it can do the most good.

“We need the water in the mountains this winter, not here now,” Louder said.