An innocent rain shower in Jinghaxiang, Yunnan, suddenly turned into a hailstorm at around six in the afternoon of December 9th. Local agricultural production areas suffered severe damage, and local farmers suffered severe losses. Local news reports damage to 50 houses and more than 26 hectares of crops.
Hail insurance is a regular factor for Bindi Bindi farmer Toby Ellis, who said he wouldn’t sleep at night if his crop wasn’t covered. After losing up to 50 per cent of his canola to hail in the first week of November, Mr Ellis then lost 350 hectares of wheat and lupins in a storm that passed through early last week.
The Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Walker, decreed an agricultural emergency zone in the municipalities of Mostazal, Graneros, Codegua, Machali, Rancagua, Requinoa, Rengo, Olivar, Malloa, and Chimbarongo, due to the complex situation that the hailstorm that took place on November 12 and that affected agricultural producers in those locations generated in that area.
Farmers are counting the cost of hail storms, heavy rain and strong winds that tore through the central Wheatbelt on Monday afternoon. The wild weather event, which stretched across areas including Bolgart and North Tammin to Southern Cross, in places dumped more than 40mm of rain, while crops were pelted with 3cm hailstones and lightning strikes caused spot fires.
NFO reports that the technique isn't new, and perhaps not the best health-wise, but as of August this year Romania has had six launch- pads with silver iodine loaded rockets, with which potential hail clouds are bombarded. The country hopes to protect around 6% of the total agricultural area against hail in this way. The effectiveness of the rocket method isn't as solid as it may seem.
Two weeks after a severe hailstorm that affected horticultural production in numerous regions of Chile, associations representing blueberry, table grape, cherry and kiwifruit growers have released initial impact assessments. Unusually large hailstones, heavy rain, and strong winds hit the country’s central-southern regions on Nov. 12, just as the harvests for the summer export season were getting underway.
The orange harvest has started in Finike, Antalya, one of the most important orange production areas in Turkey. Finike Chamber of Agriculture Chairman, Halil Saricobanoglu, said: “Orange gardens in Finike cover 3,100 hectares and this year we expect around 200,000 tons of oranges. However due to hailstorms in the middle of June, we are expecting a loss of 50,000 tons in production this season.
Further details are emerging of the damage caused by the hail and rain storms that struck Chile’s south central zone earlier this week. Jorge Valenzuela, president of producer association Fedefruta, said cherries and grapes had been the worst affected crops. Valenzuela estimated that losses in the 2018/19 season would run to US$200m, of which cherries will account for US$100m.
The intensity of this Monday's rains and hailstorms in south central Chile affected many crops. Some producers have registered more damages than others. The question is to what extent this will this affect exports and employment in the region. The president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (Asoex), Richard Bown, said that the regions of O'Higgins, Maule, Ñuble, Bio Bio, and Araucania were affected by the weather event.
A major hailstorm has hit fruit production in Chile’s central and southern regions, and although damage assessments are still being made, it seems that there have been significant losses for numerous crops including cherries. The adverse weather event struck on Monday between the Metropolitan and Biobio regions, with the most severe impacts being reported in the foothill areas of the mountains.
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