Hail is wreaking havoc in Alberta this summer, forcing farmers to file many more hail claims than normal to date, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association’s latest report.
About 300 claims in the province stemmed from a July 20 storm that ran from Rimbey to Alix, the association said Tuesday. A July 27 storm in the Westlock-Barrhead area brought in about 200 claims. Damage ranged from heavy to light in both storms.
Five other significant storms in the last part of July hammered farmland from as far south as Cardston, north to Westlock and east to Provost.
Total claims in Saskatchewan are slightly below average so far, but the last two weeks in July saw some damaging storms.
A July 15 storm caused damage in nearly 50 municipalities, some of the heaviest of which was in a swath between Glenavon and Baildon, along with an area between Lipton and Markinch, the CCHA said.
The same storm brought in claims in the Tisdale and Melfort areas, along with the eastern and southeastern areas of the province.
Farmers around Leross and Semans filed at least half the claims from a July 18 storm that brought in many claims over 65,000 acres.
On July 19, farmers in a large region encompassing Moosomin, Outram, Eston and Bulyea were nailed by hail. Claims were concentrated in the southeast.
The CCHA, which represents companies that sell crop hail insurance to Prairie farmers, stated the July 19 storm was second only to the July 13 event in terms of losses and economic impact. The July 13 storm pounded southeastern crops with baseball-sized hail and reached into Manitoba.
In the last two weeks of July major storms also hit farmers in the southern, central and west-central regions of Saskatchewan.
Manitoba farmers caught a bit of a break the last two weeks in July, with fewer, less severe storms than those seen in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Damage was reported as light to moderate.
Affected areas included Glenboro and Justice (July 18), Goodlands, Pierson, Lyleton, Waskada, Deloraine and Killarney (July 19), Virden, Deloraine, Fairfax, Killarney, Margaret and Baldur (July 21) and New Bothwell, Blumenort, Emerson and Horndean (July 24).
Insurance adjusters have been assessing damage from the July 13 storm that struck the province’s southwest.
The CCHA, in its report, reminded farmers filing claims to provide information as swiftly as possible. Many companies require claims be filed within three business days, in which case farmers shouldn’t rely on regular mail.
Farmers should also check with their insurance companies about claim deadlines and leaving check strips if they need to harvest before an adjuster arrives, the association said.
— Lisa Guenther is a field editor for Grainews at Livelong, Sask. Follow her @LtoG on Twitter.
Hail beats up southern Alberta for a second year, July 15, 2013
Southwest Manitoba crops affected by storm, July 16, 2013
Saskatchewan crops in good shape despite storm damage, July 18, 2013