A below-average growing season for hail claims in Manitoba and Saskatchewan is now back in “average” territory.
The Canadian Crop Hail Association, a Prairie hail insurers’ group, on Friday reported hail claims in Manitoba have “nearly tripled” in the past two weeks to about 1,850 and are now much nearer the average number for this time of year.
Claims in Saskatchewan also saw a “significant” increase in the past two weeks and are also now much closer to the average for this period, while Alberta saw a “modest” increase in claims during that time, the association reported.
Storms in Manitoba during the August long weekend brought hail mostly to the province’s southwest, with the most significant storm northwest of Brandon, in the area around Isabella, Crandell, Hamiota and Rivers.
Other affected areas included Brookdale-Wellwood, Carman-Homewood, Sinclair, Elgin, Minto and a strip in the south from Medora and Boissevain to Cartwright and Clearwater. “Significant” damage was reported in some areas that saw golf ball- to hardball-sized hailstones, the association said.
Large storm paths have been “thankfully absent” so far this year in Saskatchewan, the association said, but hail claims still rose by about 3,000 in the past two weeks to near 8,000 for the season so far.
While “about average” for Saskatchewan for this date, the association said Friday, that total is up from 2,300 last year at this time, and a record 15,000 in 2008.
Most regions of Saskatchewan have seen some damage in what the association calls a “large number of localized storms,” with hail over the past two weeks mainly on July 31 and Aug. 1 and 8.
Sporadic in Alta.
Meanwhile, policyholders spread “sporadically” throughout Alberta filed almost 550 claims in the past two weeks, bringing that province’s total to near 1,900.
The new claims include damage from pea-sized hail in the High River, Blackie, Longview and Vulcan areas on July 26, when hail was also reported in the Ponoka County, Alliance, Brownfield, St. Paul, Athabasca and Thorsby areas.
Pea- and marble-sized hail fell July 27 in far southern areas of the province such as Warner, Milk River and Foremost, while on July 28, claim calls came from west of Medicine Hat, Nanton and Champion in the south, up through Holden to the Guy and Valleyview areas in the north.
The majority of claims from storms July 29 came from the Castor, Vermilion, Hairy Hill and Radway areas and west and south of Thorhild, reporting varying hail size and light to medium damage. Smaller claims were filed from areas such as Bruderheim and Sexsmith for July 30, the association said.
Another 13 areas throughout the province reporting hail claims from July 31, mainly around Barons, Enchant, Turin, Pincher Creek and Vulcan — some of which had a second storm Aug. 1, the association said. Aug. 2 had claims from around Blackie, Pincher Creek, Cardston, Barnwell, Vulcan and Foremost. “Small claim numbers were generated by these storms,” the association said.
Hail damage continued mainly in north-central Alberta from Aug. 6 through 9, with claims still coming in from the Leduc-Camrose area from the Aug. 9 storm, the association said.
Generally, claims are being adjusted soon after the damage is reported, the association said Friday, but noted producers who submit claim information by fax or online are seeing much faster service than those who send by regular mail.
Farmers are asked to leave appropriate check strips if they need to harvest before a hail-damaged field is adjusted, the association said, adding that the hail insurer can provide the specific check strip requirements for a given crop.