Also found in: Idioms.
destruction or damage by hail of field, orchard, and garden crops. Hail sometimes also causes the death of domestic fowl and small cattle.
The degree of hail damage depends upon the intensity and duration of the hailstorm, the size of the hailstones, the strength of the wind, and the species of plant and its stage of development. For standing crops, hail is most dangerous during the stages of ear formation and ripening of the grain (prior to harvest). Buckwheat, beets, and flax are affected adversely by hail at any stage of their development. The tops of potatoes may be restored when the hailstorm occurs at an early stage of their development, but hail in the period just before blossoming will prevent development of the tuber. Hail has a destructive effect upon all vegetable crops during the growth and development stage, and it can knock the buds, the blossoms, and the fruits themselves from fruit trees.