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A hail cannon stands above a ring of bales in the fields of Southern Colorado Farms in Center Thursday June 28, 2006. John Smith, who founded the company in 1970, installed his first hail cannon in 1996. Today Smith's property has 8 hail cannons and cost $30,000 to $40,000 a year to run and maintain. The cannons send a shock wave into the atmosphere that manufacturers say disrupt the formation of hailstones in their growing phase. The cannons were used once so far this year. (DAVID M. BARREDA / ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) **John Smith(cq)

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