Hail damage in Madera almond orchard

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley growers and ag inspectors were busy looking for hail damage after Tuesday's storm. A small farmer in Madera couldn't bear to watch once the storm hit.

Almonds knocked off the trees represented lost money on the ground. Madera grower Amrik Singh Gill knew the strong hailstorm was trouble.

He explained, "It came from this side. The dark clouds coming over here. I said oh no. We don't need it."

The trees were full with a good set but the storm shredded the leaves and knocked down most of his crop.

Singh Hill said, "So I was really sad. I couldn't even eat last night. You're working, working for this but that's mother nature."

The silver lining in the clouds? Amrik will now try to salvage a third of his crop still hanging.

Never mind a profit. He hoped the check at the end of the season can cover fertilizer and PG&E costs.

Singh Gill said of the loss, "Easily 700 pounds to the acre. That's 28,000 pounds on 40 acres. You multiply that by four and see where that goes - that's close to a $100,000 loss."

The almonds weren't supposed to be shaken from the tree until the August harvest. "The big machine can't shake like this."

His neighbor next door didn't fare any better. The wine grape crop also took a beating in the storm.

Amrik said, "It's sad. Farming is not fun. Tough life."

Singh Gill was covered by crop insurance but didn't expect to be compensated for such a big loss.

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