2012 Grasshopper Forecast

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The risk of economically significant grasshopper populations in 2012 has increased in central and the Peace regions of Alberta. The 2012 Alberta grasshopper forecast map shows low populations of grasshoppers throughout most of southern Alberta with the exception of two pockets in rangeland areas. Based on this survey, however, the risk to annual cropland is low throughout southern Alberta. North- central Alberta and the Peace region have shown an increase in numbers over the previous year and there are areas of high risk of grasshopper problems scattered throughout those regions.

Areas indicated with moderate to severe risk could experience problems with grasshoppers if environmental conditions favor the hatching and development of grasshoppers in late May through June. Localized factors such as light soils or south facing slopes result in an elevated risk of grasshopper infestations. Conditions in late spring 2012 will determine the extent of the grasshopper problems later this growing season. Infestation levels in individual fields are NOT indicated in this 2012 Grasshopper Forecast Map.

The 2012 grasshopper forecast map is based on adult grasshoppers counts conducted in early August of 2011 by participating Agriculture Fieldmen across the province. These adult counts give an indication of the number of adults at the end of the season that are capable of reproduction and egg laying. Environmental factors can result in higher or lower actual populations than forecast. Individual producers need to be aware of the potential risks in their area and monitor fields in order to be prepared to make the appropriate decisions to implement control measures.

On individual farms, particular attention should be paid to areas that traditionally have higher grasshopper populations. In addition, grasshoppers tend to lay their eggs near areas of green growth in the fall that will provide potential food sources for emerging young the following spring. Areas with early green plant growth such as field margins, fence-lines and roadsides are also areas that will give early indications of potential grasshopper problems.

If insecticides are needed, note label precautions regarding user safety, proper application techniques and instructions to reduce impacts on non-target organisms. It is important to remember that control measures are intended to protect the crops from economic damage and are never successful in totally eliminating grasshopper populations.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development acknowledges the commitment and support of the Agriculture Fieldmen across the province in conducting the surveys essential to the creation of this forecast. This survey was coordinated by Maureen Vadnais of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. The data management for this survey was done by Pam Retzloff of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

Follow this link for a printable version of the grasshopper map.

Follow this link for a pdf version of the grasshopper map.

Follow this link for economic threshold information for grasshoppers

Follow this link for the Alberta Agriculture Pesticide Selector

Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network 2011 Annual Report

For more information on grasshoppers and their management contact the Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).

Follow this link to return to the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network home page.


Other Documents in the Series

  2016 Grasshopper Forecast
2015 Grasshopper Forecast
2014 Grasshopper Forecast
2012 Grasshopper Forecast - Current Document
2010 Grasshopper Forecast
2009 Grasshopper Forecast
Alberta Grasshopper Forecast for 2008
2008 Grasshopper Forecast
2007 Alberta Grasshopper Forecast
2006 Alberta Grasshopper Forecast
For more information about the content of this document, contact Scott Meers.
This document is maintained by Shelley Barkley.
This information published to the web on December 13, 2011.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 22, 2012.