The 2019 Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Grasshopper Forecast is out.

Insect Management Specialist with the department, Scott Meers, says the forecast shows increased grasshopper numbers in Southern Alberta.

"Not too much around High River, but Vulcan County, Willow Creek County and Lethbridge County are all seeing increases in grasshoppers."

The report points to consecutive dry summers as the culprit of this pest increase.

It also notes localized factors such as light soils or south facing slopes may lead to a higher risk of grasshopper infestations.

"They're tough to deal with," Meers says. "The big thing is to act early, because they're a lot easier to control when they're small."

He adds if producers saw an increased number of grasshoppers last fall in their fields, they'll have to keep a close eye on the pest in 2019.

The forecast predicts light to lower grasshopper populations in the rest of the province.

 

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