Farmers concerned about grasshoppers in 2024

Farmers concerned about grasshoppers in 2024

Although regrettably not mentioned in this column, the likelihood is that the increasing size and frequency of these infestations is global warming, which allows greater numbers of the insects to overwinter, and increases their growth rate and population size.  Folks in agriculture should appreciate that increasing pest problems are among their probably climate change outcomes.  – AJ

BAKER CITY — The grasshoppers are gone but the seeds of another scourge lie still and quiet, bothered neither by blizzard nor sub-zero temperatures.

Infestations of the crop-munching bugs have been significant in parts of Northeast Oregon the past three years, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Farmers and ranchers in Baker and southern Union counties said this summer that hopper numbers were higher than they had seen in several decades.

“They are horrid — the worst I’ve seen,” John Wirth, a cattle rancher in the Medical Springs area, near the border of Baker and Union counties northeast of Baker City, said in July 2023.
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