Severe late August storms damage crops across Western Canada
A series of severe storms produced hail as large as golf balls, high wind and a tornadic event that damaged crops across Western Canada, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.
The storms ended months of dry weather and created challenging conditions for harvest. Insurance adjusters are working around the clock to complete claims ahead of the combines.
CCHA member companies are investigating more than 1,467 claims of crop damage from storms that occurred Aug. 21-28.
Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail, said storms damaged canola, wheat, soybean and other crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Kindersley, Rosetown, Biggar, Saskatoon, Abbey, Assiniboia, Moose Jaw, Cupar, Melville, Moosomin, Watson and Spalding.
“We expect there will be some areas as heavily damaged as we have seen throughout the 2021 hail season so far,” he said.
Brendan Blight, of Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops with pea size hail in the Manitoba communities of Boissevain, Souris, Brandon, Mcauley and Hamiota.
“Harvest is underway and we will have to work to stay in front of the combines,” he said.
Scott McQueen, of Palliser Insurance, said storms damaged canola and cereals in all Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta with pea-to-golf ball size hail.
“Some severe damage to both cereals and canola was reported,” he said. “Standing canola was hit hard in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. Poor crop condition in many areas is contributing to well above average hail payouts.”
Tyson Ryhorchuk, of Rain and Hail Insurance Service, said storms damaged canola, wheat, barley and corn with pea-to-marble size hail in the Saskatchewan communities of Tantallon, Esterhazy, Melville, Rosetown, Kindersley, Brock, Unity, Plenty, Dodsland, Cut Knife and the Manitoba communities of Virden, Kola, Dunrea and Killarney.
“Wet conditions have slowed progress on claims adjusting,” he said. “Please be patient for adjusters, as they are working around the clock to complete claims. If you need to harvest your fields, please be sure to leave adequate strips for adjusters as set forth by the company.”
Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged canola and cereals in the Manitoba communities of Brandon, Minto and Baldur.
“With 95 percent of our August claims adjusted so far in Manitoba, the number of claims is below the 5-year average as are days with storm activity,” he said. “Our average per claim remains just slightly below the 5-year average.”
In Saskatchewan, Bantle said storms damaged crops with pea-to-ping pong ball size hail. He said wind and a tornadic event are factors in adjusting for crop damage.
“August 23 through August 29 was a week of unsettled active weather heavily damaging many ripe crops across the province,” he said. “With little to no rain over the previous two months this last week of August has quickly added some topsoil moisture. Producers were into the beginning of an early harvest on dry and droughted crops. However, this moisture quickly put a stop to further progress.”
He said 31 percent of August claims are adjusted in Saskatchewan.
“So far our number of claims is below the 5-year average,” he said. “The number of days with storm activity is below the 5-year average as well. The average per claim so far is above the 5-year average.”
Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta community of High River. In Manitoba, she said storms damaged crops south of Brandon. Holt said Storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Kindersley, Rosetown, Prelate, Abbey, Fiske, Blumenhof, Fort Qu’appelle, Moose Jaw, Balcarres, Bigger, Plenty, Outlook, and Stornoway.
Brenda Ebeling, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Atmore, west of Rocky View, west of Rosebud west of Strathmore, Standard, Hussar, west of Finnegan, southwest of Coronation, east of Blackie and southwest of Bassano.