Harvest has begun rather lopsidedly in different regions of the province, with the dryer southwest region being nearly halfway down while some in the east are just starting up.

That's also brought a varying response from local insects, which tend to be very sensitive to the climate during a harvest, which can impact crops.

The difference this year is especially stark in Saskatchewan, with the western side of the province seeing large numbers of grasshoppers while the east is spared.

Similarly, Alberta is seeing large swaths taken up by the insects in the southern region, while central and northern parts of the province seem to have more moisture.

Insect Specialist James Tansey says that the rise in grasshoppers has been sustained and present in all regions regardless of moisture.

"It's been sustained for some weeks now, but primarily in south-central regions and southwest, though we are seeing very significant pressure in most of the growing regions of the province. distributions can be a little spotty, but we are seeing a real uptick in grasshopper population, and that's sustained."

The main difference is how soon those bugs emerged, as more grasshoppers reaching maturity faster will have an obvious effect on yields.

"This coming year we did have a cool, wet spring in parts of the province and that really did delay emergence. That was noted primarily in the eastern regions of the province," said Tansey, "But where it was cool and moist you saw a delay in emergence, but that wasn't the case for some reasons in the south-central and southwest."

Primarily, control solutions would involve fungus strains and natural predators of grasshopper eggs, such as crickets.

If those can't be established to put a dent in the number of eggs laid, next year will likely be the same for farmers.

"Because these animals are very mobile, are very numerous, and can be very wide-ranging," said Tansey, "The control that a grower might have on a field or a ditch, this year just working with next year's population is likely to be relatively low."

Tansey reminds farmers to watch for label instructions if they're using insecticides to deal with grasshoppers now, especially so close to harvest to see what date they'll have to wait for until they can cut the crop.