Marionville, Mo. orchard damaged by Sunday's hailstorm

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 5:04 PM CDT
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The wild weather this week is doing more than just damaging buildings, it's destroying farm crops and a fruit-growers livelihood. That orchard in Marionville saw tens of thousands of dollars in losses over the weekend.

"Hail damage right there," said Murphy Orchard owner Wes Murphy as he looks over his strawberries. "Completely just beat up that berry."

Murphy saw damage throughout his orchard.

"So you can see there's not gonna be anything harvestable at all," he said.

The damage wasn't caused by large hail.

"It wasn't that big," said Murphy. "I would compare the size of the hail to probably like sonic ice, uh, but it was really heavy."

It was enough hail that it caused the stripping and slicing of leaves.

"About every one of 'em's gotten hit with hail," he said describing the damage.

But the impact from the hail was only part of the problem.

"I don't know what did more damage, the hail or the wind," said Murphy. "But it's definitely disastrous is what I would call it."

Some of the wind even destroyed some of the fruit being gown inside.

"It pushed through and just tore up the outside row of strawberries," he said.

But some of the other strawberries grown inside will be just fine. As will some tomatoes growing next door. But in losing a couple acres of strawberries.

"We're roughly out about $10,000-$12,000"

And two of his more popular crops.

"We're out probably $50,000-$60,000 just on peaches and apples alone."

Murphy said they'll get through this year by growing some things he normally doesn't grow.

"We'll probably put out close to about 2000 cantaloupe plants," said Murphy. "We're looking at probably doing some watermelons, probably some pumpkins."

A few things to help take the sting out of a tough blow to his orchard.

The damage from Sunday's hail storm is on top of some freeze damage a couple weeks ago. The opening date of his fruit stand has not been set.