Farmers are busy finalizing their cropping plans for 2021, and for many that will include pencilling in some money for insecticides.

Everyone hopes they won't need it, but it's important to add it in just in case since insects can impact crop yield and quality.

Looking at what happened last year can help to give producers a guideline on what we could see this year.

Environmental conditions like snow cover and temperature can play a major factor in overwintering, as the snow cover can provide some insulation for pests over the winter.

Saskatchewan's Entomologist James Tansey says last year some areas of the province saw some pretty high grasshopper populations:

"Again, near Birsay and Dinsmore and approaching economic regions in the southwest, southeast, west central and central regions. Again two-stripe grasshopper were dominant where species identification was occurring, but we did have regional outbreaks of clearwing grasshoppers as well."

He notes producers will want to monitor the situation this year, there's no major hot spots, but we could see some issues this year in the central and southwest regions.

There were some hotspots for Wheat Midge recorded last year in the north central, northeast and northwest areas of the province but nowhere near economic thresholds.

Wheat Midge populations were low overall with many sites reporting 100% parasitism.

The Cereal Leaf Beetle was found in the Admiral and Bjorkdale area, but they seem to be well controlled by the parasitoid so no spraying really required.

Tansey says when it comes to Bertha Army Worm populations, they haven't seen an upswing but they continue to keep a close eye on what's happening.

"We did have large numbers captured in central and southern regions, and in the southeast, but no reports of major spraying in the Province of Saskatchewan. The last map that we posted on the Ministry website and Prairie Pest Monitoring Network, you can see south of Humboldt a little bit of a hotspot there, and a bit of a warm spot east to Regina as well, but overall populations are low."

He notes the Cabbage Seedpod Weevil area continues to expand and while numbers were relatively low last year, there were a few hot spots in the South.

When it comes to Diamondback Moths there were some very high patches around Meadow Lake, also around Cadillac, Loon Lake and Indian Head, with numbers increasing to mid-June before falling off.

Overall, despite the early arrival and large numbers trapped the population didn't amount to very much and not much damage was reported in Canola crops.

However, there was some damage and spraying reported in the southeast.

Cutworm damage last year was mainly reported in May and June primarily in Canola with some spraying occurring.

When it comes to Flea Beetles basically two kinds in the Province - Striped and Crucifer - the Striped is mainly predominant in the north and working its way south, while Crucifer populations were higher and more prevalent in the south.

Red Bug populations were also reported but wasn't very prevalent, however there were some bare patches reported in Canola.

He says the two areas he investigated had big numbers of nymphs which tend to aggregate above ground, while the adults were mainly found under the soil.

They had two reports of Red Bug in seedling canola in southern Saskatchewan that required reseeding, and one report in November in a cereal crop in Maple Creek.

Tansey notes they're still doing a lot of investigation into the Red Bugs, adding that both adult and nymph densities can be very high.

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