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April Cold, May Storms Set Farmers In Western Minnesota Back Weeks

LOWRY, Minn. (WCCO) -- April cold and snow gave way to May storms and showers for many farmers across the state. That's made for a difficult planting season. Days after last weeks' storms rolled through, many are still dealing with building damages along with wet fields.

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

"It just picked it up. Both sidewalls and the roof and you saw it go flying and it exploded in the air," Armstrong said. "There's another building over there and that's laying on my land over here."

Armstrong's land, and what's left of his buildings, lies close to Zach Johnson's property.

"This was a 48-foot wide grain bin and it stored close to 60,000 bushels of corn. And now it's scrap metal," Johnson said.

Johnson is best known for his Millennial Farmer videos on YouTube, but his latest installment will be about how hard his farm has been hit -- not just by wind, but also by rain.

Between May 9 and May 15, Johnson's area of the state got anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of rain.

"We are at the point now with our slews, rivers and lakes. They are so full that the subsoil moisture and the water that's standing in the fields can't go anywhere," said Johnson.

Wet fields are hit or miss, but the destruction is widespread in western Minnesota, just another obstacle in what's already been a challenging spring.

"It's not unusual to not be finished planting by this point, but it is unusual not to be started at all," said Johnson. "You just have to take it as it comes and you get what you get and you work with it."

Johnson said he's about two weeks behind for planting and he hopes to get in the field in the next day or two.


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