This is the fourth year in a row that Manitoba’s grasshopper population has increased. As farmers are already struggling to deal with the drought conditions, the grasshoppers are just adding more issues. The insect thrives in hot, dry conditions and feeds off green grasses, cereal, pulse and oilseed crops.
If their desired food is not readily available grasshoppers will start to chew into other crops. An entomologist John Gavloski of Manitoba Agricultural considers it a “variable situation” as only “Some areas have very high numbers and they’re struggling to get control done.”
According to Gavloski, the grasshopper population has been steadily increasing since 2017. Detailed surveys of grasshopper populations have been conducted every August since 1931. Gavloski and his team are setting up to perform the 2021 count this month.
Kevin Thompson of Kevin Thompson Farms said “it’s been a constant battle… the field behind us I think is still worth saving.” Gavloski said the best solution to slow their population growth is for some steady rainfall.
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