Canterbury farmers fearing as much as an 80 percent crop loss from hailstorm

Canterbury farmers are scrambling to salvage what was spared from hail the size of eggs which pummelled Canterbury this week.

Some of them are fearing as much as an 80 percent crop loss after two severe storms battered the region.

Insurers said they've received hundreds of claims after the egg-sized hail and driving rain caused extensive damage.

"Its been pretty extensive its done a lot of damage to a broad range of crops, wheat and barley particularly.

"It's just been chopped right off by the hail storm," Brian Leadley, Vice-chairperson of Federated Farmers, said. 

His crop of peas is just one month out from harvest. He said the storm bruised the plants badly. 

Many of the crops are going to be exposed to disease which means farmers may have to invest more money into crops.

"Farmers are feeling really under pressure from a number of different areas within the sector and this just adds to it," Leadley told Newshub. 

Alan Newton's, a farmer from Waipopo says he hasn't suffered damage from a storm like this since he was a young child.

"We haven't had a hail storm in this area like that since 1960 so it's not like it's worth insuring.

"Its the risk factor that we take, mother nature I suppose, can be kind and can be cruel," 

said Newton. 

According to MetService: "It's with those more severe thunderstorms that we do see more accumulation of hail and the hail managing to get bigger and bigger so the bigger the updrafts in those thunderstorms the bigger the hail."