Richardson ground squirrel — often called “gophers” — are flourishing in some locations. Gophers can eat up large areas within a canola field, and the missing plants are often mistakenly blamed on cutworms or other insects. Strychnine baits and, in some jurisdictions, mix-it-yourself strychnine liquid is available for gopher control. Talk to your municipal or county office for options in your area.
Phostoxin is also registered for gopher control, but this is a restricted use product that requires a special permit for purchase and application. For more on strychnine, Phostoxin and other control methods, read the factsheet from Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.