Very Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release 'Hail storm hits North Canterbury farmers'

6 January, 2009

Hail storm hits North Canterbury farmers

“The man who survived for more than 30 hours adrift on a jet ski during Saturday’s hail storm was incredibly lucky, but that storm hit many North Canterbury cropping farmers hard,” says Paul Stackhouse, North Canterbury Federated Farmers Grain and Seed chairman.

“The golf ball sized hail stones that swept across North Canterbury on Saturday carved a six to eight kilometre path of destruction through crops, with the damage estimated to be well in excess of one million dollars.

“I know of one farmer who incurred $250,000 worth of damage to his crops. A number of Rape Seed crops were also badly affected by the hail stones. This includes one farmer who saw some 40 hectares of crops literally stripped bare.

“The heaviest hail stones fell from the Waimakariri River to north of Amberley. If farmers had crops of any kind under that storm when it hit those crops would have suffered damage.

“The storm also had an affect on North Canterbury vineyards. I know of one vineyard between Amberley and Broomfield that was heavily damaged,” Mr Stackhouse concluded.

Chris Sundstrum, North Canterbury Federated Farmers provincial president, says three of his neighbours each lost about 30 percent of their crops.

“All of my bailage was punctured and had to be rewrapped. The hail that passed over on Saturday afternoon was as large as golf balls. I’ve never seen hail that size before. Quite a few cropping farmers would have lost about $100,000 each,” Mr Sundstrum concluded.


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