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Bean field collapses and falls 25 feet in rural Polk County

Near Climax, Minnesota, a small crack in the ground has grown, causing a quarter-mile long stretch of bean field to fall 25 feet. Few have ever seen anything like it.

POLK COUNTY , Minn. — It is still hard for Wayne Erickson to make sense of what happened on his farm. Simply put, a section of his black bean field fell two stories.

"When I drove out here, it looked like the Grand Canyon. We didn't have all that slumping going on, it was just straight down. Straight up and down," Erickson said.

Wayne and Erllene Erickson are the fourth generation on the family farm, and they've never seen anything like this. Nobody is sure what caused the huge slide.

"(It's) kind of scary. It is sad, sad to see it," said Erllene Erickson as she surveyed the fallen field. "Mother Nature does what she wants."

Geologists with the University of North Dakota say the dry weather, a drop in water levels on the Red River and recent rains can form a perfect storm for things like this to occur.

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It really is a geological wonder. The fallen land is pushing on the river bank, sending more dirt into the Red River.

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Footage from a drone can show the sheer size of the fallen field. The blue speck near the lower-right edge of the ravine is actually a person.

Pictures taken from a drone piloted by Brad Thoreson, a neighbor of the Erickson farm, shows the massive slide. There's a 25-foot drop in some places. Crevasses are still forming as the land continues shifting.

Soil experts are due at the scene to try to piece together how a bean field lost part of itself and left a wall of wonder for farmers to now marvel at.

Related Topics: AGRICULTUREPOLK COUNTY
Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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