July 8, 2011 / 2:18 PM / 6 years ago

Prairies hail claims flow in after storms

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Insurance claims jumped after last weekend’s hail storms pummeled some crops across the Prairies, but claims for the year are just average to light, the Canadian Crop Hail Association said Friday.

<p>A garden is covered with hailstones in Les Esserts after a hail storm hit the western part of Switzerland July 23, 2009. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud</p>

As of mid-week, the association, made up of insurance companies, reported year-to-date totals of nearly 1,000 claims in Saskatchewan, more than 300 claims in Manitoba and nearly 200 claims in Alberta.

The claim numbers are average for this time of year in Saskatchewan, and lower than normal for Manitoba and Alberta.

Hail damage to crops would be greater but Saskatchewan and Manitoba farmers left millions of acres unplanted this spring due to floods. And some crops drowned in the rain, while others were developing slower than normal on the Prairies due to late seeding.

A strike by Canada’s government-owned postal service, which is now resolved, may have delayed delivery of farmers’ claims, the association added.

Reporting by Rod Nickel; Editing by John Picinich

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