Southern Alberta’s home-made hail simulator crushed some hail damage doubt
three-year hail recovery research project suggests that insurance is the most
reliable way to protect from crops loss due to hail damage.
“Generally speaking, right now hail insurance is your best return on investment in trying to help yourself recover from hail-damaged crops,” said Ken Coles, Farming Smarter General Manager.
The project began in
2015 when a hail simulator was designed and created specifically for the trial.
The simulator was a
rotating drum with long dog chains attached all the way around it.
Trials were done with
the simulator before beginning the hail damage study to determine the accuracy
of the dog chains on the crops.
Services Corporation (AFSC) adjusters checked the crops a week after simulated
damage occurred and determined that it was very close to what actual hail would
Once the trials
began, a total of 27 different plots were included with simulated hail damage
ranging from none to 67 per cent during different time periods over the season.
The crops included in
the study covered canola, wheat and pulses over the three-year period.
Early in the study,
it was discovered that the timing of the hail damage was a large factor in the
recovery and total yield of the crops.
Sections that were
damaged early in the season had more time to recover than those that
experienced hail mid to late season which in turn produced a higher yield when
One of the main goals
of the study was to determine the effectiveness of chemicals that are
advertised for use on hail damaged crops.
“There are products out there being touted as hail rescue products,” said Ken Coles, the project leader and General Manager of Farming Smarter.
Once the damage
occurred, fungicides and nutrient blends were sprayed on different crops to
determine if they would improve the yield when compared to untreated sections.
The end of the
project determined fungicide treated crops did show a minimal improvement on
overall yield, but the nutrient-enriched trials caused a drop in numbers when
compared to the untreated crops.
Farming Smarter continues
to study hail damage by comparing the yield of an early hail damaged crop to
one that is reseeded afterwards.
Created July 18, 2019 | Category: News Articles