Late July storms damage crops across Western Canada

Late July storms damaged crops across Western Canada with hail as large as golf balls, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association. The storms occurred July 21-30. CCHA member companies are investigating more than 311 claims of crop damage during the time period.

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged cereals and oilseeds in northwest Manitoba with hail as large as an inch.

“Manitoba has seen minimal hail activity so far this season,” he said. “All reported and completed storms are light damage.”

In Saskatchewan, storms damaged cereals, legumes and oilseeds in the east central and west central areas of the province with ping pong ball sized hail, he said.

“In Saskatchewan, June storm activity was below the 5-year average, as well as storm severity,” he said. “July storm activity below the 5-year average but storm severity was way above normal so far on completed claims.”

Jackie Sanden, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops in dozens of communities across Alberta.

Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta community of Barrhead. In Manitoba, storms damaged crops in Swan River and Dauphin. Storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan community of Norquay, she said.

Ellen Grant, of AG Direct Hail Insurance, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Barrhead, Gem, Westlock, Viking and Lacombe. In Saskatchewan, storms damaged crops in Pelly, she said. Manitoba reported storm damage in Hazelridge and Sifton.

Scott McQueen, of Palliser Insurance Company, said storms damaged crops across Saskatchewan with small to golf ball sized hail. He said some of the damage was severe to dry crops.

“Poor crop conditions are making loss payments skyrocket,” he said, noting that harvest is underway in all three provinces.

Above normal dry conditions on the prairies have been the main reason for a slower hail season, said Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail.

His company recorded 1,300 claims from June 5 to July 17.

But, he said, recent storms have been much stronger.

“Some of the early reports indicate there was varying sized hail with rain and wind,” he said. “Pictures of some of the hail stones near Invermay were the size of baseballs.”

For more information and past reports:

The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the farmers across Canada. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd