Top Crop Manager

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Early-season storms cause varying damage on Prairie crops

July 9, 2015 - Last year at this time, crop news focused on excess moisture and flooding, particularly in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. This year, conditions were much drier throughout the seeding season. This allowed for timely planting but as heat and dry conditions continued throughout May and June, crop stress has been severe in many areas of the Prairies.

According to the Canadian Crop Hail Association's (CCHA) hail report, early season storms caused varying amounts of damage on those crops that were unevenly staged due to early seeding, dry conditions and large areas that had to be re-seeded. Some crop adjustments may need to be deferred to a later date in order to accurately assess damage, dependent on the stage of growth at the time of the hail event.

The CCHA states new applications will be accepted throughout the month of July. A policy comes into effect at noon of the day following purchase, so producers are urged to make timely decisions in order to protect their investments. Damage potential increases significantly as crops advance in development.

Crop conditions in Alberta are being reported as far below average as dry weather continues to prevail throughout most of the province. Wildfire status in the north remains at high to extreme. Alberta Agriculture noted continuing deterioration in both crop condition and moisture ratings during the last week of June.

The first hail storm of 2015 was reported on May 26 in the Barrhead area. Since that time, a number of smaller, isolated storms have been reported across central and southern Alberta and damage has been minimal, for the most part, because of later than normal crop development.

A June 12th storm resulted in widespread damage in a pattern travelling west of Stavely and moving east-south-east through to Medicine Hat. Golf-ball-sized hail stones were reported in some areas in a storm that brought an average of one inch of badly needed rainfall. On average, damage appeared to be light as crops were not as advanced as usual for that date.

Major storm dates and locations for this period included:
May 26: Barrhead
June 11: Barrhead, Legal
June 12: Stavely, Medicine Hat, Vulcan, Hays, Bow Island, Champion, Enchant
June 16: Claresholm
June 18: Nobleford, Crossfield, Rosemary, Taber
June 19: Carbon, Innisfail, Linden
June 23: Granum, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Fort Macleod, Drumheller, Stirling, Bentley

Conditions have been very dry across much of the province this spring, resulting in severe crop stress in many areas and extreme wildfire conditions in the north.

Total claims to date are within the five-year average. The highest number of claims resulted from a June 12th storm. It's likely that the total number of claims from that event could have been much higher, but many producers had not yet insured by that date.

Major storm dates and locations for this period included:
June 12: Heward, Admiral, Limerick, Assiniboia, Antler, Cadillac, Lafleche, Arcola, Redvers, Stoughton, Pontiex, Parry, Glasnevin, Woodrow, Ceylon, Crane Valley, Vanguard, Carlyle, Cardross, Gravelbourg
June 17: Antler, Redvers, Gull Lake
June 18: Eastend
June 19: Radville, Carlyle, Mankota, Bracken, Climax, Eastend, Frontier, McCord, Dilke
June 20: Insinger, Naicam, Mankota, Kennedy
June 21: Yorkton, Vanguard
June 23: Shaunavon, Admiral
June 24: Nipawin
June 25: Alameda, Lampman
June 26: Chamberlain, Craik, Creelman, Fillmore
June 28: Asquith, Delisle
June 30: Outlook
July 1: Admiral, Scotsguard, Consul, Climax, Shaunavon, Mankota
July 3: Kindersley
July 4: Arcola

Drier conditions in Manitoba allowed seeding to be completed in a timely manner. Some areas received killing frost in May and many acres were re-seeded. There have been some timely rains and also some reports of extreme weather across the province. Manitoba Agriculture is reporting overall good growing conditions.

Major storm dates and locations for this reporting period include:
June 7: Pilot Mound
June 23: Holland, Mariapolis
June 25: La Riviere, Pilot Mound,
June 27: Touraud, Winkler, Thorhill, Morden, Winkler, Pilot Mound, Swan Lake, Miami
July 3: Elkhorn
July 4: Brookdale, MacDonald, Deloraine, Waskada



July 9, 2015  By Top Crop Manager


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