A worker is dwarfed by spraying equipment as he prepares to battle weeds in a barley crop farmed by Grant Giggs of Chauvin. Other farmers across the M.D. and into Saskatchewan are now spraying for weeds—as well as for grasshoppers in some hot spots. ©Provost News Photo.
Print version in June 18 edition of The News.
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Farmers Plagued by ’Hopper Hot Spots
• Aid Package Announced
Some farmers south of Provost in the Rosenheim district have been busy with equipment battling large quantities of tiny grasshoppers.

At the Brian Stempfle farm south east of Provost spraying has been underway to battle the insects that grow with voracious appetites for plants.

Stempfle, who talked to The News on his cell phone while he was spraying his crops said that in his area the grasshoppers are worse than last year.

There are “quite a few” grasshoppers, especially with severe infestations showing up on hills.

The farmer also has moths appearing in his mustard crop but he won’t know the population levels of the moths until the larvae has hatched. In the meantime he will be watching carefully the development of the plants and insects.

The area under severe attack from grasshoppers includes southeast of Provost three to six miles and runs east to west.

Pete Fischer of Macklin says that there are reports of grasshoppers appearing in that area as well.

Meanwhile Jim Ganser started spraying over two weeks ago and on Friday he stopped, thinking he might be done spraying for a while. But he’s going out often to check for more of the 'hoppers. He had been spraying in ditches as well where he found many of the grasshoppers only an eighth of an inch long.

In some areas, Ganser has had to spray three times to try to control the grasshoppers. Some spots have been all eaten off and he doesn’t know if those areas will come back while other areas he expects to rejuvenate. He has also been spraying some chemical on flea beetles in canola crops. These beetles eat holes in the leaves of the plant that can cause it to die.

Lynn Paulgaard who is farther south towards Bodo reported that the grasshoppers are not as severe on their land but they have had to spray some fields twice.

Agricultural consultant Agnes Whiting of Provost says that the grasshoppers are bad in some spots and that there are some diseases showing up in some cereal crops.

There are two kinds of moths in canola here now, Whiting says. The diamond back moths will hatch in a month or so and the beet web worm is expected to hatch in 45 to 60 days.

Farmers should watch when larvae appear to determine the population count to decide if it’s severe enough to spray chemicals on them.

Other farmers meanwhile have been spraying for weeds in their crops.

Alberta producers suffering from severe grasshopper infestations may be eligible for a piece of a $10.5-million federal-provincial program that will help defray their grasshopper control expenses. The program was announced by federal Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief and Shirley McClellan, Deputy Premier and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

Record numbers of grasshoppers in 2002 meant that an extremely high number of eggs were laid in the fall of 2002. The record number of eggs, combined with ideal hatching conditions over the past two weeks, has significantly increased the potential for grasshopper damage. Damage from grasshoppers, if left unchecked, could cause $80 to $100 million in crop loss.

Rest of story and pictures and in June 18 edition of The Provost News.
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Full story and picture in June 18 edition of The Provost News.
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Cash Stolen From Canada Post Office
Full story and pictures in June 18 edition of The Provost News.
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Story in June 18 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
We asked: "Are You Afraid of Mosquitoes Bringing West Nile Virus Here?"
. . . and we heard opinions from Nancy Baker, Norbert Biever, Debbie Baynham, Randy Kaye and Iris Hager.
Check out the June 18 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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