Hutchinson — A hailstorm in Reno County caused an estimated $6 million in damages to wheat crops and may prompt farmers to seek other crops to recoup some of their losses, agriculture experts say.
The hailstorm Saturday cut about a five-mile swath from Nickerson southeast to Castleton.
"I've been out to look at the crops," said Greg McCormack, Reno County extension agriculture agent. "It ranges pretty widely from completely gone to slight damage, depending on how close the field is to where the center of the storm was the worst."
Eldon Thiessen, a statistician with the Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service, said wheat in Scott, Trego, Finney and Ellsworth counties also was damaged, though Reno County crops suffered the most.
Jay Brack, crop consultant for Nickerson's Farmer's Grain Co-op, agreed with earlier estimates that about 2 million potential bushels of wheat were lost. That doesn't account for huge soybean losses, and heavy damage to both corn and grain sorghum.