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From the Ground Up: Hailstorm Wreaks Havoc in Brazos Bottom

(KBTX)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 7:59 AM CDT
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Two weeks ago, when a hailstorm hit our area, roofs were damaged, trees had their leaves knocked off, and vehicles were dented. But on its way to town, it wreaked havoc on crops in the Brazos River Bottom. John Malazzo grows corn and cotton in Burleson County.

“When a hailstorm like this hits in town, it does damage, but that damage is repairable, but when it happens to a crop, depending on the severity of the hail storm, you don’t have many choices as far as, you can’t go and repair your corn stalk or your cotton stalk you can only try to determine whether to carry it through and see what it makes or you plow it down and replant which at this point in time, at this point of the season, that’s probably not an option.”

Malazzo says he feels lucky that his crops only got hit with glancing blows in certain areas. He has friends whose entire fields were destroyed.

“It basically defoliated the stalk with the hailstones and on the north side of the stalk, we have severe bruising all along the stalk and some deterioration and some rot because of the bruising. We know that’s going to affect the ear because of the veins that feed the ear are bruised and probably no longer work and also the leaves actually feed the ear.”

Malazzo did say that hail in the Brazos Bottom is a pretty unique event.

“This is only the second hailstorm I’ve had in my forty-three years of farming so when it does hit, it’s a little surprising and a little shocking.”

Malazzo said that his cotton that wasn’t damaged enough to have to be replanted has bounced back and that the replanted cotton will not yield as much and will have to be harvested a lot later.