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Due to a string of hot and dry summers, the grasshopper population is on the rise in the province.

Provincial Entomologist John Gavloski, says that this year will be the third consecutive year of population growth.

While the population has seen an increase, Gavloski says he wouldn’t go as far as calling it an outbreak.

“It’s not at the point where we’re going to call it an outbreak or anything, but there certainly are increased levels,” said Gavloski. “If we get another hot dry year, there likely will be areas in the northwest where grasshoppers are a concern and growers may need to be managing them in some way.”

Gavloski says the western part of Manitoba will be hit the hardest with high counts of grasshoppers, particularly around Brandon, Virden, and Russell. He added the Interlake may be severely affected as well.

The province’s grasshopper forecast is based on several factors, such as counts of populations in August, weather data, and recent trends in populations.

High grasshopper populations can affect lots of crops, and result in significant damage.

Gavloski urges producers to be vigilant and check field edges and ditches early in the year, and be prepared to spray.