Image: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

AFSC received 2,300 hail claims from recent storms

Conditions of many fields starting to fall as excess heat, lack of moisture begin to take a toll

Several big storms that rolled through the province last month are beginning to stack up the damage claims at Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC).

As of July 26, AFSC has received more than 2,300 hail claims — with nearly half of those coming from the area stretching between Didsbury and Olds then east all the way to the Saskatchewan border.

Jackie Sanden, AFSC insurance product coordinator, explained 2018 has been quite busy for hail claims, despite the annual average of claims over the same time frame is about 3,300.

“What we are seeing for damage is highly variable. Some crops have received minimal damage where others have been completely wiped out,” she stated.

In addition, Sanden noted more than 80 per cent of claims are currently being inspected within 16 days of being reported to AFSC. However, she added, “As claim numbers continue to rise, future wait times may differ based on the number of outstanding claims.”

To file a claim, producers are urged to call their local AFSC branch or call 1-877-899-2372 within the 14 day claim window. More information on claims or programs with AFSC can be found by going to www.afcs.ca.

Crops affected by dry weather

The severe weather that Alberta has witnessed over the past month is starting to have noticeable affects on crops.

While severe thunderstorms with strong winds and hail are partially to blame for damaging many fields and creating lodging issues, the constant extreme temperatures are also a concern.

Harry Brook, crop information specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, explained some small areas have seen storm related damage though the lack of moisture is a far bigger threat to yields right now.

“There has been hail, but I don’t think it’s at the same level as in previous years. Overall, the crops are hanging in there, getting just enough moisture to stay in the game,” he said.

“The problem is that we are in a period of maximum moisture usage with no soil moisture reserves and we are seeing symptoms of dry fields affecting the crops. The rain the area has seen has been extremely isolated and that general steady type of rain needed hasn’t really developed.”

Brook explained that these spotty rains, combined with plus 30 degree temperatures and some wind, are taking away much needed moisture during the growth stage.

“Just looking at a field tells quite a story,” Brook added. “With flat fields, the growth is fairly even. But you can see a difference with even a small depression or a hill, as it will either be higher or lower than the rest of the crop due to the moisture holding capacity.”

Brook also noted that the high winds combined with the moisture is causing lodging in some fields, but barley in the region seems to be getting the worst of it.

As a result of the erratic weather, the rating of good to excellent crops fell 12 points to 52 per cent in the central region. Pulses are the most developed with nearly 80 per cent in the podding stage, followed by canola at over half podding.

Just Posted

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stops in Red Deer on campaign trail

Notley promises hospital expansion, cath lab, pipelines and energy industry expansion

Police seize loaded gun in Wetaskiwin

Man arrested with homemade rifle attempt to break into a commercial property

St. Michael’s Church commemoration held west of Bashaw

The celebration acknowledged the history of Hungarian settlers in the area

UCP proposes changes to property rights

Former MLA Wes Taylor spoke on those changes recently

PHOTO: Bashaw STARS raise $4,500 in Bonnyville fundraiser

The atom, peewee and novice teams raise money for Ronald McDonald House in tournament

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Oil prices, Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

The top money bid last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd.

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per cent

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Most Read