Early season hail rarely has an impact on canola yield potential. Hailed seedlings usually come back very well. If hail breaks off both cotyledons or snaps the stem, these plants usually do not survive. But even in these severe cases, while individual plants may die, a whole canola crop is fairly resilient to early season hail when it comes to overall yield potential.
An average stand can be reduced to fewer than 40 plants per square metre (4 per square foot) before yield losses exceed 10%. The crop recovers its yield potential because the remaining seedlings take advantage of the reduced competition for light, moisture and nutrients. As a result, plants grow larger, produce more branches, and develop more pods and seeds per pod, compensating for the lost plants. However, with fewer plants maturity of the crop can be delayed.