Hail torments southwestern Ontario producers
Isolated areas see anywhere from 30 to 100 per cent yield loss
By Kaitlynn Anderson
Southwestern Ontario producers are facing some challenges after destructive weather raged through their fields late last week.
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In particular, the Dover area northwest of Chatham shows intensive hail damage. There is a five to 10 kilometre strip showing extreme injury. Further afield, the damage is more isolated, according to Dale Cowan, senior agronomist at AGRIS Co-operative and Wanstead Farmers Co-operative.
“There’s anywhere from maybe a 30 per cent yield loss, to no yield loss, to crops being written off,” Cowan said today.
High winds also caused some damage.
“We had corn that was once shoulder-high that is now laying completely flat on the ground with broken stalks. In other fields, (the only injury we see) is shredded leaves.”
Farmers’ yield loss is determined by the amount of leaf damage.
“Leaves that are 30 per cent shredded may only result in, at most, a 25 per cent yield loss. For other areas with much more damage and broken stalks, the yield loss is much greater,” Cowan said.
At this point, Cowan advises farmers to call crop insurance and have an assessment done.
Hail struck multiple tomato and bean fields last week as well. The extent of that damage is not yet known, according to Cowan.
“That’s the thing about hail – you have to wait to see if there’s any recovery before you determine what the actual loss will be.”
On top of the hail, heavy rains also trailed across the province late last week.