Grasshopper risk light in most of Western Canada

CNS Canada — Most of Western Canada is expected to see low populations of grasshoppers in 2015, although there are a few areas of concern, according to forecasts from the three provinces.

Most of Manitoba has a low risk of seeing high grasshopper populations this year, according to a forecast from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.

Of the 58 areas surveyed, 42 were rated as very light risk, having counts from zero to four grasshoppers per square metre. Five of the counts were in the light risk category, five were in the moderate risk category and six were severe.

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The highest count of grasshoppers in Manitoba was an estimated 25 per square metre in the RM of Miniota, north of Virden.

Although the grasshopper populations were very-light to light in many areas of Manitoba during the August survey, there were more areas that were in the moderate or severe risk categories than previous years, the forecast said.

Weather in September was quite favourable for the grasshopper populations that were present to lay eggs in Manitoba, although less ideal in August.

The risk of economical populations of grasshoppers developing in 2015 is quite variable, depending on location, with some areas in western Manitoba having higher risks. If weather is favourable for grasshopper survival and development there may be localized areas where grasshoppers are a concern to crops.

A provincial forecast map of Saskatchewan grasshopper populations shows most of the province has almost no risk to very light risk for 2015.

A few areas of the province show very light populations that could cause economic risk to lentil crops. Only a couple of regions show light risk, with no regions in the moderate to severe categories shown on the map.

The Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network’s 2015 grasshopper forecast shows the risk of economically significant populations in 2015 has increased in parts of southern Alberta, and decreased in central Alberta and the Peace region.

Based on the survey done, the risk to annual cropland is now low throughout most of central and northern Alberta. The grasshopper risk has been increasing in southern Alberta over the past few years, and is now high in some regions for 2015.

— Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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