Agricultural producers in northeastern Colorado are assessing hail damage to crops resulting from a turbulent storm which struck Weld County June 10.
Two funnel clouds were spotted during the mid-afternoon, and the sightings were confirmed by the National Weather Service. Tornados did not form or touch down in the area, however.
The Produce News spoke with several regional producers in the region Thursday morning, June 11.
Alan Kinoshita, sales manager for Fagerberg Produce Inc. in Eaton, CO, said that he watched the funnel clouds in the distance, and confirmed that one of the company's onion growers sustained hail damage associated with the storm cell. Mr. Kinoshita said that the extent of damage will take a week to assess.
David Petrocco Jr., co-vice president of David Petrocco Farms Inc. in Brighton, CO, said, "The storm was severe," and added that hail damage is being assessed. The company grows a variety of leaf lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, onions and beans.
Sakata Farms Inc., also located in Brighton, came through the storm unscathed, according to company President Bob Sakata, who said simply, "We were lucky."
Unsettled weather is expected to continue in Colorado through the week of June 15-19.
Colorado's Front Range has experienced unseasonably cool and wet weather this year. Recent weather patterns have been a departure from years of drought conditions experienced in the state for nearly a decade.