MADISON -- Many people in the southwest area of the Diocese of Madison, including Grant and Lafayette Counties, suffered extensive property and crop damage in the recent severe storms with strong winds and hail.
Tom Nelson, rural life coordinator with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Madison, will be making visits to Grant and Lafayette Counties to tour the areas affected by the storms. "The storm damage has impacted many farmers," said Nelson.
In Lafayette County an estimated 20,000 acres of corn sustained hail and wind damage on July 24, while about 10,000 acres of soybeans were damaged.
"It looked to be a record crop," said Ted Bay, UW-Extension agriculture agent for Lafayettte and Grant Counties, in an article in the Wisconsin State Journal. "It's too early to say what the damage will be, but it's going to be a large number."
Agriculture is the number one industry in Lafayette County, with 1,400 farms, 120,000 acres of corn, and 50,000 acres of soybeans. The storm losses will affect the entire county.
Farmers are asked to examine their crops for damage, contact their insurance agents, and check with the Farm Service Agency for possible enrollment in programs that could help cover some of the losses.
Last year, many farmers suffered from the effects of heavy rains and flooding. Nelson said he is "worried about losing farmers." The crop losses, he said, "will affect farmers and farm prices."
In response to the situation, the diocese has offered the following intercessions for parishes, families, and individuals to include in their prayers:
- For farmers and all affected by this week's storms, we pray to the Lord.
- For farmers and all affected by this week's storms, that they may find hope in Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, we pray to the Lord.
- That God will sustain farmers and all in our diocese affected by this week's storms as they work to rebuild, we pray to the Lord.