WHEREAS based on 2010 Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Grasshopper Forecast Maps, the majority of the Northern half of the province ‘Moderate’ to ‘Very Severe’; and
WHEREAS seventy percent of the province encompassing fifty-five municipalities were declared a drought disaster area in 2009; and
WHEREAS reported soil moisture reserves for many parts of the province are ‘Very Low’ to ‘Extremely Low’ based on Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development statistics; and
WHEREAS the probability of moisture levels returning to normal levels by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development forecast models for most of the agricultural areas is less than twenty percent; and
WHEREAS the cost for producers protecting their crops and pastures from grasshoppers is an added expense to an already high production cost environment; and
WHEREAS the model for a grasshopper control program already exists and is in place from the 2003 Canada Alberta Grasshopper Control Program;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provide the financial assistance of a Grasshopper Control Program for landowners who control grasshoppers on private land and on adjacent roadsides..
Already low commodity prices, lack of feed and forages for cattle producers and high input costs for producers to protect feed and crops from grasshopper damage. Assistance from the provincial and federal governments will be required if the provincial forecast models for drought and grasshoppers are correct. the risk of economically significant grasshopper populations in 2010 has increased in the northwest portion of central Alberta and the Peace region. Areas indicated with moderate to severe risk could experience problems with grasshoppers if environmental conditions favor the hatching and development of grasshoppers in late May through June.
None. This resolution was emergent.
Agriculture and Rural Development:
Alberta has the following programs in place that will cover production losses incurred as a result of grasshoppers:
• Grasshoppers are an insured peril under AgriInsurance, assuming that normal practices have been employed to control them.
• Extra input expenditures as a result of grasshoppers are considered eligible under the AgriStability program.
The 2010 Alberta grasshopper forecast map (attached) shows low populations of grasshoppers throughout much of central and southern Alberta, with the exception of parts of the Peace Region, northwest-central Alberta, parts of Special Areas, and an area south of Lethbridge. After data collection for the forecast map, extended warm and dry conditions late in 2009 allowed ample time for egg laying and further increases in potential grasshopper numbers. Current spring conditions will also influence the extent of the grasshopper problems later this growing season.
The government response to this resolution noted that production losses as a result of grasshoppers are covered under two programs. First, grasshoppers are an insured peril under AgriInsurance if normal practices have been employed to control them. Second, additional input expenditures due to grasshoppers are eligible under the AgriStability program. Though the AgriStability program has been carried forward in the 2013-14 budget, funding has significantly. The status of this resolution will remain as accepted and the AAMDC will monitor if current funding levels are adequate to address grasshopper control.