For most items of farm machinery, it’s old age and worn metal that prompts their eventual demise. But if you’re a farmer or machinery dealer in Kansas, USA, the regular tornadoes are a pretty big hazard too.
John Beardmore, an expatriate Brit who helps run the Ohio State University student farm placement scheme, said the tornado in Kansas the week before last tore across the countryside in a one-and-a-half-mile-wide swath of destruction with winds of 205mph.
The local Deere dealership Bucklin and Greensburg Tractor took a direct hit. There were 30 or 40 brand new combines in the yard awaiting delivery. All are now destined for scrap and harvest 2007 is likely to start with some contractors short of a combine or two.
Photos taken by a truck driver show the devastation. He was unlucky enough to be in the yard at the time but survived the experience.