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Figures show claims mounting as hail hammers Saskatchewan farmers in 2019

WATCH (April 15, 2019): Hail storm blankets Saskatchewan town with ice pellets.

The Canadian Crop Hail Association says more than 10,000 damage claims have been received by its member companies so far this season.

The association said in a release that at the mid-point of the year, Saskatchewan farmers filed 6,900 claims — the most on the Prairies.

READ MORE: Harvest operations get underway in Saskatchewan

The five-year average for Alberta and Saskatchewan is up slightly, while Manitoba is down somewhat for the hail season, which ends in October.

Processing of received claims is about half complete.

The most recent numbers from the organization show 2,000 claims have been filed in Alberta and 1,300 in Manitoba.

Overall, hail claims are on a pace with 2018, which saw more than 11,000 filed by the end of the year.

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Association president Rick Omelchenko said hail damage is not the only factor farmers must contend with as harvest approaches.

“Harvest might be better in Manitoba with the decrease in hail claims, but extremely wet weather in some places and extremely dry weather in other provinces will also have an impact on harvest volumes,” he said in a statement.

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Storm activity decreased between July 27 and Aug. 6, although some places recorded hail the size of baseballs.

Farmers made 900 claims during that period, with reports still coming in.