Officials Fear Grasshopper Infestation


A federal survey of farm areas taken last fall found high numbers of adult grasshoppers in parts of Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho. Each female lays hundreds of eggs so that high count could turn into costly grasshopper infestations this summer. Making matters worse is the prevalence of migratory species in the latest surveys — insects that can fly 60 miles in a day.

The Wyoming acreage infested with 15 or more grasshoppers per square yard increased more than 10-fold from 2008 to 2.9 million acres last summer, according to federal surveys.

Regionwide, surveys predict at least 48 million acres of outbreak-level infestation this summer.

“In some states, we may see some of the most severe grasshopper outbreaks that we’ve seen in nearly 30 years,” said Charles Brown, the national grasshopper suppression program manager at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s.

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