CNS Canada –– Farmers have seen more weather-related hardships this year than normal, made evident by an above-average amount of hail and reseed damage claims.
Summer hail and frost at the end of June and the beginning of July took a toll on crops, leading to insurance claims above the five-year average.
Manitoba Agricultural Service Corp. (MASC) hail damage insurance claims for 2015 came in at 3,380, compared with the five-year average of 2,000.
“It is slightly more than the highest we’ve had,” said David Van Deynze, manager of claims at MASC.
Farmers also made an especially high amount of reseed-related claims.
Frost claims are lumped in with other losses, but registered reseed claims to MASC come in at 3,290, compared with the 1,000-claim five-year average.
Van Deynze said it’s been one of the busiest reseed years they’ve ever had as well, and the vast majority of this year’s claims are frost-related.
“I know even the most prosperous farmers face challenges dealing with everything from crop disease to risk management; this year was a prime example,” said provincial Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn.
Despite a large amount of reseeding, most producers are pleased with how their crops turned out, he said.
“They are going to be yielding average to above-average, just because timely moisture accelerated the germination of it,” he said.
He named canola as one of the crops that saw a significant amount of seeding. Final production numbers will be coming post-harvest, but Statistics Canada estimates this year’s canola production at 2,540,100 tonnes compared with 2,510,600 last year.
Manitoba’s harvest is about 80 to 90 per cent finished, according to the province’s most recent crop report.
— Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow her at @jade_markus on Twitter.