Half-inch hail damages crops as harvest starts in some areas

Storms produced high winds and drop half-inch hail dropped across western Canada as harvest begins in some areas, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

The storms occurred July 23-31.

CCHA member companies are investigating more than 300 claims of crop damage during the time period. They are urging farmers to leave adequate strips for adjusters in areas where harvest has started.

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged canola in the Manitoba community of Swan River.

“This was a small isolated storm cell affecting northwest Manitoba,” he said.

In Saskatchewan, he said storms damaged a variety of pulses, oilseeds and cereals in Battleford, Cutknife, Rockhaven, Unity, Wilkie, Pontiex, Eastend, Foam Lake and Wadena.

“The July 25th storm in west-central Saskatchewan caused some considerable damage and a number of claims from the Alberta border to North Battleford region,” he said. “The July 29 storm was an isolated cell in the south area of Pontiex. The July 30 storms were also isolated cells affecting various regions in the province.”

Beth Shewkenek, of AG Direct Hail Insurance, said storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Unity and Estevan, Saskatchewan, and Drumheller.

Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail, said storms damaged all types of crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Burstall, Insinger, Sturgis, Preeceville, Norquay and Kelvington.

“There was an isolated storm in the south west area,” he said. “The storm on July 30 in the north east was on a south easterly path. The early indication is that it is not a severe hail event.”

Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged canola, oats, wheat, durum, lentils, and peas in the Saskatchewan communities of Shaunavon, Ponteix and Norquay.

In Manitoba, she said storms damaged crops in Bowsman.

Brendan Blight, of Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, said storms damaged canola, wheat and soybeans in the Manitoba communities of Plumas and Austin. The storms produced pea size hail with minor damaged reported.

“The storms came from Saskatchewan and split with one going north over the lakes and the other heading south towards Morden,” he said.

Jackie Sanden, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Dogpound, Crossfield, Airdrie, Irricana, Drumheller, Calgary, Gleichen, Consort, Provost and Rumsey.

Tyson Ryhorchuk, of Rain and Hail Insurance Service, said storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Mayfair, North Battleford, Meota, Neilburg, Unity, Oxbow, and Alameda.

In Alberta, storms damaged crops in Huxley, Trochu, Lethbridge, Coutts and Vermillion. In Manitoba, storms damaged crops in Swan River, Ninette and Minto.

“Recent hot, dry trends have crops maturing very quickly,” he said. “I have already noticed some peas being combined.”

Scott McQueen, of Palliser Insurance Company, said storms damaged all types of crops in Saskatchewan and Alberta. They produced half-inch hail.

He said heavy wind is a factor in adjusting and damage is severe in some areas.

“With harvest starting in some southern areas, we ask that farmers leave adequate strips for the adjusters,” he said. “If they have any questions regarding timelines, please give our office a call.”