The myth may come closer to reality this summer than at any time in decades in several states in the West and the Plains.
A federal survey of adult grasshoppers last fall indicated that parts of Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho could face costly grasshopper infestations this summer.
Ranchers and farmers as well as federal and municipal pest control agencies are praying for well-timed 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.
“They’re grass eaters,” said Tom Wright, a rancher near Newcastle in northeast Wyoming about 20 miles from the South Dakota border. “They’ll eat the leaves and leave the stem. And they will eat the stems finally. Continue reading