June storms damage crops across western Canada

Growers reported mostly light storm damage to young crops across western Canada with heavy rain in some areas, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

The storms occurred June 20-27.

CCHA member companies are investigating more than 1,280 claims of crop damage during the time period.

“We continue to see light damage to young crops in all three provinces,” said CCHA President Scott McQueen of Palliser Insurance. “More advanced crops are showing light to moderate damage with the odd field having severe damage. Heavy rainfall in some areas has slowed our adjuster force down, but there should be no risk of falling behind at this point.”

Yves Dooper, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged barley, canary seed, canola, corn, flax, forage, lentil, mustard, oats, peas, fall rye, wheat, faba beans, forage and potatoes in central and west-central Alberta.

The storms hit communities including Carbon, Morrin, Drumheller, Lawsonburg, Sundre, Olds, Trochu, Markerville, Penhold, PineLake, Red Deer, Alix, Ponoka, Meeting Creek, Heisler, north of Killam and Sedgewick, north of Edgerton, and north of Oyen. They also hit northeast Calgary, Airdrie, Irricana, Hanna, west of Acadia Valley, Youngstown, Sedalia, Compeer, Donalda, Halkirk, north of Irma, north of Holden, Clandonald, Marwayne, Barrhead, Westlock, Thorhild, Smoky Lake and St Paul.

“Majority of damage was reported as light to medium, with a few heavy and severe cases reported,” he said.

Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail, said storms damaged all types if crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Marsden, Nipawin, Carrot River, Swift Current, Shamrock, Mossbank, Assiniboia and Balgonie.  Storms also hit communities including Burstall, Richmound, Stewart Valley, Craik, Bethune, Silton, Earl Grey, Southey, Semans, Raymore, Lipton, Melville, Yorkton, Stockholm, Churchbridge and Langenburg. St Walburg, Medstead, Glaslyn, St Brieux, Kelvington, Prince Albert, Melfort, Kenaston, Raymore and Langenburg.

He said hail was pea-to-baseball size. The damage was mostly light to possible moderate with heavy rain and wind in some areas also causing crop damage.

“For this week, the biggest storm event was the June 23 storm day,” he said. “This storm stretched from Alberta near Richmound with a path all the way across and through Langenburg and Churchbridge into Manitoba. The other days during this week were mainly isolated pop-up storms that did not travel long distances.”

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged cereal, oilseed and pulse in south and central Manitoba.

The storms produced hail of a variety of sized. Heavy rain is also a factor.

He said Manitoba is slightly above the 5-year average for claims in June. The average cost per claim is around the 5-year average so far.

In central Saskatchewan, storms damaged cereals, pulses and oilseeds.

Damaged ranged from light to heavy depending on the stage of the crop, he said. Heavy rain in some areas is also a factor in adjusting for crop damage.

He said Saskatchewan is well above the 5-year average for claims in June. With only a few claims completed the average cost per claim so far is above the 5-year average.

McQueen, of Palliser Insurance, said storms damaged wheat, barley, canola, lentils, peas, and soybeans in Alberta. The storms hit communities including Three Hill, Red Deer, Torrington, Drumheller, Beiseker and Barrhead.

Hail ranged from small to medium size with rain also a factor in adjusting for crop damage.

In Saskatchewan, storms damaged wheat, durum, canola, peas, lentils and soybeans, he said. The storms hit communities including Moose Jaw, Gravelbourg, Nipawin, Choiceland, Humboldt Yorkton, Rocanville, Holdfast, Esterhazy and Langenburg.

In Manitoba, storms damaged whea, canola, barley, peas and soybeans, he said. The storms hit communities including Ste. Rose, Killarney, Sandy Lake, Strathclair, Baldur, Binscarth, Neepawa and Morden.