Hail damage eases in Central Alberta
A nasty start to the 2013 hail season gave way to clearer skies this summer.
Brian Tainsh, manager of on-farm inspections with Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC), said Thursday that while Alberta crop hail claims for 2013 were still being processed, it appeared the numbers would be well below last year’s record figures.
“We still had a very busy year, but since the first week in August the storms have tailed off, thankfully.”
Tainsh said his office has received claims for hailstorms that occurred as recently as Oct. 1, but with harvest nearing completion the threat now appears to be at an end.
“We’re going to end up around that 8,000-claim mark,” he predicted, contrasting this figure with the approximately 11,500 claims in 2012.
The second-highest claims year of all time was 2008, which Tainsh expects to remain in the number 2 position.
“2008 was still probably a little bit busier year than where we ended up. But this is going to be our third busiest year, without a doubt.”
And 2013 could generate the second greatest payout total for hail damage, due to the fact commodity prices are higher than they were five years ago.
In 2012, a record $450 million was paid out to Alberta producers. Next was 2008, when the tally topped $265 million.
Tainsh said a large number of hailstorms rolled through Central Alberta this year, but the damage was not as severe as in 2012.
“On the whole compared to last year, I would say this area got away a little easier than other years.”
AFSC administers crop and hail insurance on behalf of the provincial government.