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Tornadoes Affect Planting

Mon, 25 Nov 2013 06:28:19 CST

As the cleanup continues in parts of Illinois hit by tornadoes, an expert on emergency management says more than towns and cities will require cleanup. In addition, farm fields need to be cleared of storm debris before they can be planted again. Western Illinois University Emergency Management Professor Jack Rodzilsky says farms fields hit by tornadoes will often contain debris dropped by the storms from other locations. He says the debris may include parts of roofs, chunks of wood and metal and even peopleís personal items. Rodzilsky says all of it poses a danger to farm equipment:

"Modern farming equipment, combines and so forth, these are complicated machines which are quite a substantial investment to the farmer. And sucking a piece of debris through a machine, messing up the mechanisms, can be quite costly and expensive to farm operations. Itís something we like to try to avoid."

Rodzilsky says he hasnít surveyed the damage from the most recent tornadoes in Illinois. But he notes that after the southern Illinois town of Harrisburg was hit by a tornado on Leap Day 2012, it took a team of Illinois FFA volunteers seven days to clean up debris from farm fields in surrounding Saline County.

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