Farmers say Royal grain elevator explosion could slow harvest

Local News

ROYAL, Iowa (KCAU) – There remain unanswered questions about what caused a grain elevator explosion that rocked the community of Royal, Iowa. Tuesday’s explosion, at the AG Partners grain elevator, forced community members to evacuate the area.

Farmers tell KCAU the grain elevator that exploded is the heart of the facility. It’s where most grains are stored in the area. Now, ahead of harvest season, farmers say they now have to figure out where they’re going to store their grains.

“For me, it means it could slow my harvest if we can’t come here,” area farmer Steve Steinbeck said.

He adds the main concern among farmers is a lack of grain storage.

“Well, I don’t have a place to put my grain. With an elevator that can’t take my grain that makes it bad because I don’t have that many bins at home, so that makes an impact on farmers that way,” Steinbeck said.

Steinbeck said because of the drought, farmers will have an early harvest this year and that should give them more time to find a place to store their harvest.

“It’s a 2020 thing. It’s another thing this year we’re going to have to battle, just where to go now. I’m sure area elevators are going to pick it up a bit and see what they can do as far as storage. But that’s the big concern, how bad that leg is and if they can get it up in any kind of shape to help us out to take the grain,” farmer Craig Manning said.

He said he’s just thankful the AG Partners explosion didn’t happen during harvest season.

“If this were to happen during harvest, a lot of people would be pulling their hair out. So, hopefully, now you get a little time to evaluate it. You know it’s coming. That’s going to be a big relief there. You’ll try to find another way,” Manning said.

It’s still not clear what caused the explosion.

Clay County Sherriff Chris Raveling said fire crews were on scene until about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning battling hot spots. That’s almost 12 hours after the explosion happened.

He said now the AG Partners will work with a salvage crew to determine what’s next for the facility.

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