Grasshopper Outlook Strikes Fear on Western Range

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

NEWCASTLE, Wyo. (AP) - Parts of Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho may be in store for costly grasshopper infestations this summer.

Federal surveys predict at least 48 million acres of outbreak-level infestation this summer. Charles Brown, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says some states may see the most severe grasshopper outbreaks in nearly 30 years.

Ranchers, farmers and pest control agencies are praying for cool and wet weather to stifle the young grasshoppers when they hatch around May and June. In the meantime, they're scrambling to line up the millions of dollars it will cost to battle an outbreak with aerial insecticide.

Grasshoppers are found across the United States, but outbreaks of pest species are most common in the Plains and Western states.

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