August 19, 2011 / 3:00 PM / in 6 years

Hail storm damages Saskatchewan and Alberta crops

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - A major storm on August 6 drove up insurance claims for hail damage to crops in the western Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Total claims in those provinces for the year are about normal, while farmers have filed fewer hail claims than usual in Manitoba, the Canadian Crop Hail Association said Friday.

Saskatchewan’s hail claims total climbed to 7,900 for the year from about 5,500 two weeks ago. The total does not include a storm on Monday that hit hard some western areas, the association of crop insurance dealers said.

Alberta farmers have filed 2,200 claims, up from 1,700 two weeks ago.

Manitoba farmers have filed nearly 900 claims, up about 300 from the total two weeks ago.

Canada is the biggest exporter of spring wheat, durum, canola and oats, most of which are grown in the western provinces.

Reporting by Rod Nickel; Editing by John Picinich

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