April cold, May storms set farmers in western Minnesota back weeks – WCCO

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LOWRY, Minnesota (WCCO) — The cold and snowy April gave way to the storms and rain showers of May for many farmers across the state. This is made for a difficult planting season. Days after the storms of the last few weeks, many are still grappling with damage to buildings and wet fields.

Last Thursday, winds were so strong near the Pope County town of Lowry that a pole barn that had stood on Kenny Armstrong’s property for years was destroyed in a matter of seconds.

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“It just picked up. Both side panels and the roof and you saw it fly away and explode in mid-air,” Armstrong said. “There’s another building over there and that’s over here on my land.”

Armstrong’s land and the remains of his buildings are near Zach Johnson’s property.

“This was a 48 foot wide granary that held nearly 60,000 bushels of corn. And now it’s junk,” Johnson said.

Johnson is best known for his Millennial Farmer YouTube videos, but his latest episode will be about how badly his farm has been hit – not only by the wind but also by the rain.

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Between May 9 and May 15, between 5 and 10 inches of rain fell in Johnson’s area of ​​the state.

“We are now on point with our pans, rivers and lakes. They’re so full that the subsoil moisture and the water that’s standing in the fields has nowhere to go,” Johnson said.

Wet fields are hit or miss, but destruction is rampant in western Minnesota, just another setback in an already challenging spring.

“It’s not uncommon not to have finished planting at this point, but it’s uncommon not to start at all,” Johnson said. “You just have to take it as it comes and you get what you get and you work with it.”

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Johnson said he was about two weeks behind on planting and he hopes to be in the field in the next day or two.

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