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Serving: West

Grasshopper Outbreak Potential High

TAGS: USDA Extension
Grasshopper Outbreak Potential High
Hotspot is western South Dakota. Experts are worried about the two-striped hopper, the species that caused extensive damage to crops and shelterbelts in the 1920s and 1930s.

The United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Plant Protection and Quarantine office based in Pierre, S.D. has predicted a potential for a grasshopper outbreak this year based on grasshopper counts last year, says Mike Cataganui, South Dakota State University Extension entomologist.

The grasshoppers represented in the map were adults that presumably laid eggs in the soil. Their eggs may have successfully overwintered and may hatch successfully and result in an outbreak this year.

Last fall, the USDA warned that the grasshopper species that it saw in large numbers last year was the two-striped grasshopper, which is particularly destructive.

In the 1920s and 1930s, it destroyed many of the crops and shelterbelts in eastern South Dakota. It was only the severity of the drought in the 1930s that devastated crops that also stopped the destruction of the two striped grasshopper.

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