The last few weeks have seen a large increase in the number of crop hail claims, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The Canadian Crop Hail Association reports that Alberta has seen a dramatic rise in claims from less than 100 to over 600. The main cause of the jump in claims was a storm on July 12 that hit south Drumheller, Strathmore, Standard, Rockyford, Hussar and Langdon with golf ball size hail combined with the threat of tornadoes.
The association states in a news release that although the total number of claims remains below average, this situation could change quickly in a province that traditionally experiences one of the highest rates of hailstorms in the country.
In Saskatchewan, claims are well above average for this time of the year. By mid-July claims exceeded 3,200 compared to about 1,650 filed by this time last year and up from about 650 only two weeks ago.
Two large storms at the beginning of July left a trail of damage across parts of the province, the association states. On July 1 areas south of Swift Current, an area in the southeast from Balcarres to Yorkton and Langenburg, as well as around Estevan were hit.
The next day saw another large storm generate claims from Consul in the southwest to Kelvington in the northeast of the grain belt.
Saskatchewan was also affected by the July 12 storm that moved in from Alberta, affecting northwest parts of the province including Macklin, Luseland, Senlac and Denzil.
Manitoba claims remain well below average to this point with a total of less than 400 compared to about 230 a couple weeks ago. Storms on July 13 from south of Darlingford to south of Roland were the main cause of the increase.
In many areas extremely wet conditions are hampering hail adjusters when they attempt to inspect damaged crops. Some producers have been assisting with ATV’s or four-wheel drive vehicles to help with access to saturated fields.