Wheat School: Scouting for grasshopper eggs in the seed row


Across the Prairies, there’s no doubt that you’ll see a few grasshoppers over the course of the summer — especially when it is hot and dry.

However, if the conditions are right, you’ll see grasshoppers feeding early in the season and sometimes even find eggs in the field.

Lyle Jensen, of AgroPlus Inc.,  says as he’s been scouting Southern Alberta he’s seen quite a few instances of grasshoppers already. The positive story here, however, is that typically the adults out there right now are the non-pest species — the ones that don’t cause much economical damage, unless the numbers are unusually high.

Typically, the species of concern says Jensen, is the two-stripe grasshopper, which will most likely be in the egg-stage right now.

“I’ve gotten quite a few pictures from producers this week, as well as finding eggs myself in the seed row after the drill has disturbed the ground. They’ll look like an off-yellow grain of rice almost in there, quite soft and squishy,” he explains, in the Wheat School video below. “Depending on when they hatch will kind of spell how much damage they can cause for the year. Temperature and moisture of course are going to be your determining factors for when those eggs will hatch.”

Although it’s currently still a bit early to determine when those eggs will hatch, if we look at previous years, soil temperatures play a big part in the equation.

As far as what can be done in the seed row if you are actually seeing these grasshopper eggs, there’s not a whole lot. But just being able to scout them, and understand that they very much could be a concern for you later in the season could pay dividends.

Check out the full Wheat School, below:

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