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Larry Gerdes is having his barn taken down and disassembled in Malta Bend, Mo. It’s about the size of a three-car garage but stands much taller in a clearing surrounded by 6-foot stalks of corn.

The barn’s exterior is graying, part of its roof is missing, and there’s a gaping hole looking out from the hayloft. It’s about 100 years old, and it’s not really useful.

“It’s deteriorated and it would cost a lot of money to repair it,” Gerdes says. “And it doesn’t fit into modern farming. Unless you got two cows to let them loaf inside, nothing fits, and it’s just obsolete.”

While a quaint wooden barn lost in a field of greening corn is a classic farm country tableau, for modern farmers, many of these aging barns have lost their purpose. The barns can’t fit today’s giant tractors and are too small to house the larger herds of cattle or hogs.

While the dilapidated barn might be a nuisance for farmers, reclaimed barn wood is a hot decorating trend from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach. Turn on HGTV, and you’ll see people asking for reclaimed barn wood on many of their shows, including Fixer Upper. Using barn wood is so popular right now, it even has its own slot on the DIY Network — a show hosted by Mark Bowe called “Barnwood Builders.” Old barn wood is called a lot of things in the construction business, like reclaimed, salvaged or repurposed.

Your Dilapidated Barn Is Super Trendy. Just Ask HGTV

Photo: Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media and KBIA