North Dakota, Montana farmers deal with grasshoppers

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 7:09 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - They’re an insect familiar to farmers and ranchers and are taking over fields across the state.

The number of grasshoppers is high again this year.

It’s a video that’s been viewed more than two hundred thousand times on Facebook. The video taken by a Montana farmer and rancher earlier this week shows the number of grasshoppers in his grain hopper.

The bugs are also in large numbers in North Dakota.

“In fifteen years, I’ve never seen grasshoppers like this,” said Lenci Sickler, Gladstone.

Lenci Sickler said he has been spraying for grasshoppers over the course of several months.

“You had to try and control them the best you can otherwise you were losing bushels by not doing anything,” said Sickler.

An extension crop protection specialist in Minot said grasshoppers chew on crops.

He believes populations are up because there weren’t enough bitter cold days to drive populations down and this year’s snow acted as a protective barrier.

“My biggest advice is keep track of what populations you’re seeing right now especially if you’re at high populations,” said Travis Prochaska, Extension Crop Protection Specialist.

Travis said mother nature will indicate how grasshopper populations will be next year.

The crop specialist added that it’s useful to focus on spraying the edges of fields. This is because grasshoppers enter from the edges.

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