Farmers Paying the Price for Thursday’s Storms


Trees were down and corn crops destroyed in rural Winnebago County, following a hailstorm that hit Thursday night.

“In seconds, a huge hailstorm started coming to us, and the wind and the rain was intense,” said Winnebago resident Sandi Milburn. 

“Basically, it started with wind, then raining then hailing. I had never seen it hail so long. Sometimes you see it hail for five minutes or so. This was a good half hour and it never stopped,” said Scott Burkhart, who’s farm was also affected.

Milburn says the hail was at least the size of half dollars. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued a little after nine and didn’t expire until well after 10.

Wind damage was reported just north of Stillman Valley, with several trees, 1-2 feet in diameter, being blown over. Other areas, such as Byron and Janesville, were also affected.

“This is a huge loss to the rural farmers in this area. In the 43 years I’ve lived here, I’ve never endured a hailstorm of this magnitude,” said Milburn.

Now, fields of corn that used to be green are not much short of a wasteland. Burkhart says he now has to wait at least a week until his crops can be inspected — but believes the damage will add up to thousands of dollars.

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