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Farmers, ag officials assessing hail damage to crops

August 12, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Farmers and agriculture officials on Monday continued to assess crop damage following a hail storm in the Middleway, W.Va., area Sunday.

Hail shredded leaves on 40 acres of Larry Magaha's corn at the intersection of Middleway Pike and Darke Lane and Magaha said Monday he would probably have a better idea later in the week the extent of the damage.

Magaha said he has crop insurance to protect against such damage and insurance officials are expected to examine the corn.

Robyn Potter, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official in Ranson, W.Va., said Monday she knows about the crop damage in the county but has not had a chance to assess it.

Estimates of the size the storm were still varied Monday.

Although Middleway-area farmer Bill Grantham initially said it appeared the hail fell over about a three-mile wide area, Magaha said Monday it appeared to be a more narrow swath about a half mile wide.

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Grantham said the storm threw down round hail and a jagged type and destroyed one and half acres of his pumpkins and a half acre of squash.

The hail was at least penny-sized and Grantham said he had not witnessed a hail storm of that magnitude in 40 years.

After the storm, there were drifts of ice along Middleway Pike, also known as W.Va. 51, Grantham said.

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