Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Swarms of grasshoppers predicted to plague the West this year

A storm of 2-inch-long grasshoppers swept across Roaring Springs Ranch in southeastern Oregon's high desert last summer -- turning roads slippery, crunchy and "kind of gross" on their way to devouring 7,000 acres of grass intended as spring forage for the cattle. "Most people slowed down out of curiosity and awe" as clouds of grasshoppers carpeted Oregon 205 that passes through Roaring Springs, said ranch resident Elaine Davies. The onslaught may be a mere prelude to a grasshopper invasion of near-mythic proportions predicted this summer in Harney County and across the American West. Hungry grasshoppers are starting to hatch in Arizona and New Mexico and could make 2010 the worst grasshopper year since the mid-1980s -- consuming huge swaths of grasslands and crops, said U.S. Department of Agriculture expert Charles Brown. The anticipated glut results from natural population cycles and widespread drought conditions that grasshoppers thrive under...more

1 comment:

johnr said...

The cold weather and heavy deep layers of snow may be a help in slowing down the hatch of the grasshoppers