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Hail Recovery – Pulses

Farming Smarter Project

Timeline: 2015 – 2019

Project Contact: Ken Coles


Farming Smarter wanted to produce scientific data about crop recovery after it sustains hail damage. They developed, tested and verified a hail simulator to produce damage on crops. Project technicians damage crops at various three growth stages (early, mid, late) with degrees of damage. The project compares an untreated check to plots treated with fungicide and nutrient within a few days after the damage occurs.


  1. Determine the response of peas and beans to simulated hail damage at different growth stages.
  2. Determine the potential benefits of fungicide or nutrients on these crops.
  3. Evaluate which management practices can improve crop growth, harvestability and yield after hail damage. 


Field Peas & Dry Beans

The field trials on peas take place at Lethbridge, Vegreville (Innotech), and Falher (SARDA). Dry bean trials take place in just Lethbridge.  Data collected includes density,  height (pre- and post-hail damage), post-hail NDVI measurements, biomass at maturity, yield and quality parameters (test weight and 1000-kernel weight).

The recovery treatments for peas are a) Headline fungicide and b) Releaf Canola plus Boron Boost nutrient blend.

The recovery treatments for dry beans are a) copper hydroxide and b) Omex P3




Initial Findings

Field Pea

Farming Smarter’s hail simulator beats a pea crop for its Alberta Pulse Growers hail recovery project.

Yield increases were slightly greater with the nutrient blend as compared with the fungicide treatment. However, neither recovery treatment improved Lethbridge pea yield when hail occurred at the 4-6 leaf or 50% pod stage.

Yield data from first year hail recovery pea trial. 2016


At the SARDA site, the nutrient blend (but not the fungicide) improved pea yield and pea test weight when hail damage took place at all 3 crop growth stages. Clearly, we need more data  in future years to determine the benefits of these recovery treatments.














Dry Bean

Dry Bean suffered considerable yield reductions at all crop growth stages. Dry Beans also showed more yield loss due to hail damage percentage regardless of the crop growth stage when the damage occurred. 

Dry Bean yield loss due to hail damage

Table 2 indicates that hail received at all crop growth stages caused considerable reductions in dry bean yield (24-57%). In contrast to the field pea trial, dry bean yield was affected more by the hail damage level than the crop growth stage when hail occurred. For example, dry bean yield losses ranged from 24-33% and 41-57% over the 3 crop stages with 33% and 67% hail damage, respectively.

Media Coverage

Learning in the field at Farming Smarter, Farming Smarter Magazine, Spring 2017, page 10

Do hail recovery products really work, Farming Smarter Magazine, Fall 2016, page 10

Hail simulator helps determine crop recovery expectations, July 7, 2016, Western Producer

DIY hail, March 2016, Top Crop Manager

Plot hop season ends on a high note for Farming Smarter – July 28 

Researchers invent their own version of the great white combine

Hail simulations give crops a beating

Project Videos

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