perigord-hail-460-2012

To the chagrin of farmers, hail the size of ping pong balls was falling around Périgord in east-central Saskatchewan on Tuesday. (Courtesy Holly Marquette)

It's been a stormy start to summer for many farmers, with hail or flooding taking a toll.  

Holly Marquette's parents own a farm and market garden near Périgord in east-central Saskatchewan and got pelted on Tuesday night.

"We're suspecting that all of our canola is lost, and about a third of our oats are gone," she said.  "We also own a market garden and most of our vegetables are ruined."

Marquette said she knew as soon as the hail started that the crops were going to be ruined.

"It was hitting the side of the house ... it was bouncing off metres in the air," she said.

Marquette says the hail was nine centimetres deep on the roads around Périgord, which is southeast of Tisdale, near Greenwater Lake Provincial Park.

Many fields in the area were flooded by rain as well, she said.

Meanwhile, almost half of this year's canola crop is behind in its development, due to excess moisture.

"Many of those crops were late seeded into very wet conditions ... or they were planted and then inundated with some pretty wet conditions afterwards," said Saskatchewan Agriculture crop specialist Grant McLean.

Some areas may recover, but the east central and north-east parts of the grain belt have been hit hard, McLean said. Saskatchewan farmers planned to seed a record amount of canola this year — more than 11 million acres, according to Statistics Canada.