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Grasshoppers not expected to be a major concern in 2013

CNSC / There’s a relatively low risk of grasshoppers across most of the Prairies this year, according to provincial forecasts.

The forecasts are based on counts of adult grasshoppers in the summer of 2012, weather data, and recent population trends. For now, those trends aren’t favourable for the voracious pests.

Most of Manitoba had very light grasshopper populations when the surveys were taken in 2012, and shouldn’t be a major problem unless weather conditions in the spring and early summer, when grasshoppers are hatching and developing, become very favourable.

In Alberta, the south, north-central and Peace regions all had low populations last year, but there are still a few high-risk areas scattered throughout the province. Most of Saskatchewan is rated low risk, although some west-central and southwestern portions of the province may see higher numbers.

Farmers are encouraged to monitor fields and roadsides early in the season for any signs of grasshopper activity. Lentil and flaxseed crops are deemed especially vulnerable to grasshopper feeding.

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Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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