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Alberta declares hail damage to crops this year a disaster

EDMONTON — Record hail storm damage to crops this year in Alberta has prompted the province to declare the situation a disaster, with insurance payouts to farmers worth $451 million.

The Agriculture Financial Services Corporation says the money will come from two insurance funds, not the government’s general revenue.

The Crown corporation says hail storms damaged wheat, barley, canola, and peas crops throughout the province on 1.6 million hectares of land from May until mid October.

Merle Jacobson, a corporation spokesman, says it is paying out 11,100 claims and the final cheques should be in producer’s hands by next month.

He says it is the largest number of hail insurance claims the corporation has handled in its 74-year history.

The previous top year was 2008, when the corporation paid out $264 million on 9,500 hail insurance claims.

 
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