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Grasshopper swarms expected this summer

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High Five
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 could be the worst grasshopper year in several decades, say experts, who predict that 140,000 acres of Harney County could be destroyed by insects this summer.

Grasshoppers thrive in drought conditions, which are widespread this year, leading to the anticipated glut.

Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and the Dakotas are forecast to feel the brunt, with lesser clouds of grasshoppers expected across Oregon, Washington, Texas, Utah, Colorado and Nevada, said [U.S. Department of Agriculture expert Charles Brown], who oversees the USDA's national grasshopper suppression program.

Of several hundred types of grasshoppers, ranchers and farmers throughout the West are likely to encounter up to 15 hungry "pest species" this summer, he said. In Oregon, a clear-winged grasshopper called Camnula pellucida  and possibly a flightless variety called the Mormon cricket are the culprits.

Read the whole story at OregonLive.com.

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