'Like someone took a lawnmower out there': Alberta farmers survey damage from hailstorm
ACME -- Shawn Gorr surveys his canola crop after a massive hailstorm tore through his property northwest of Acme, Alta. last weekend.
“Basically all we are left with is a little stem sticking out of the ground and some roots sticking out of the ground.” he tells CTV Calgary.
“It’s like someone took a lawnmower out there and cut them right down.”
In a normal years, Gorr says by the first week of July his canola would be about a metre high and sporting it’s bright yellow flowers.
This year he’ll be lucky if it comes back before August.
“It puts us back like we just seeded this crop yesterday," he said.
"Now a frost in September or an early snowfall really affects it to a point you might not get anything off this crop.”
Like most farms in the area, Garr raises multiple crops. The family’s 2,000-acre (810 Ha) farm produces wheat, barley and Canola.
His wheat fields were also ravaged by the weekend hail, setting it back by several weeks, likely forcing him to harvest far into the fall. He says that will be a costly delay.
“We could have frost the first part of September and that could damage your yield, also your quality could go down from number one , or number 2 milling type grade to feed varieties which are $2 to $2.50 a bushel less.”
Gorr says he’ll continue to raise the crops even if they will produce a smaller yield. He does have crop insurance, which will pay him for a portion of his losses, but says it’s a poor substitute for what was shaping up to be a good harvest.
“We are hoping to get some of our expenses back, maybe some of our fuel,” he said. "But the potential off what this crop could have been is going to be a loss."
The Agricultural Financial Services Corporation oversees crop insurance in Alberta.
It hasn’t developed and estimate of the losses form the weekend hailstorm but in an email to CTV News said, “At this time, the extent of the damage will vary based on the stage of the crop at the time of the storm."
"From experience, most crops will recover and still produce a harvestable yield from damage at this time of year, though the yield may not be what originally would have been," it read.
It is also advising its clients to check their fields and report any damage within the required 14 days.