Grasshoppers have been having a significant impact on organic production in the province, especially in the southern part of the province. Grasshopper control is an agronomic challenge for organic producers because there are very few grasshopper control options approved for use in organic production.
To better understand the extent of the grasshopper problem in organic production, SaskOrganics surveyed its members between June 30 and July 16, 2023. Fifty-one (51) responses were submitted from every region in the province with the most responses from the Southwest (33%) and West Central (31%) Saskatchewan.
Summary of Findings:
• Grasshoppers represent a significant concern for many organic producers in Saskatchewan:
-Decrease in production
-Financial loss (projected loss higher in 2023)
-Wind and water erosion
-Damaging relationships with neighbours
• Crop Insurance is an important risk mitigation tool (areas of improvement identified)
• Permitted inputs that are effective and economical for large scale crop production are greatly needed
• Consistent and accurate information on approved substances is needed
• More research on crops/crop rotations to control grasshoppers
• We risk losing organic producers and acres
The results of this survey help quantify the extent to which grasshoppers are an issue for organic growers in Saskatchewan (the damages, financial losses, experience with crop insurance, etc.), and will inform SaskOrganics when speaking with Government, SCIC, researchers, product manufacturers etc. about the issue.