Gauging crop recovery possibilities after a hailstorm churned across the landscape is a long-standing pastime in Alberta. According to an AMA insurance report, 66% of major hailstorms take place in our province each year. That means that every year, after every storm, farmers look out over the fields and wonder what just happened to the crop yields.
Farming Smarter found a way to provide some answers. First, they worked with partners to create a hail simulating machine. This included having crop adjusters come and survey the damage caused by the hail simulator to see if it looked like storm damage.
Next, they took it to the fields and beat up some crops. They damaged field peas, wheat and dry beans at various growth stages and to various degrees. Once damaged, the crops got different crop recovery products to test if these products can help with crop recover after hail damage.
This project took place over three years in three regions of the province. Its major findings include:
Hail timing is a major factor influencing yield loss due to hail
Wheat is very tolerant to hail damage, especially during early vegetative growth stages
Fungicides and nutrient blends did not improve crop recovery from hail damage
To learn more about this study and its findings, visit the Hail Recovery project page.