- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

NEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) - Severe storms that hit North Dakota over the Fourth of July holiday weekend took a toll on farms and crops, with widespread damage reported in the west.

Hail took out crops in a swath near New Town that might be 10 miles wide, Mountrail County Extension Agent Jim Hennessey told KXMC-TV. Farmer Scott Ruland said his barley field was waist high a few days ago, and now it’s beaten into the ground.

“The path that got hit, it took it all,” Ruland said. “There’s sunflower fields, soybeans, corn, this is barley here behind us that was just an outstanding crop, canola across the way. Anything that was in the way got hit.”

Heavy damage to crops and farm buildings also was reported in Mercer and Morton counties. Strong winds damaged several buildings at the Bueligen family farm near New Salem, and moved a horse trailer about 30 yards, KXMB-TV reported.

“It’s a mess,” David Bueligen said.

The winds also damaged grain bins in Hazen, and several farms south of Mandan reported damage to buildings, trees and crops.

“This is like Ground Zero,” farmer Lynn Gustin told KXMB. “It was scary.”

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