Panhandle grasshopper numbers increase - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Panhandle grasshopper numbers increase

You might have spotted an increased number of grasshoppers around the Texas panhandle. 

According to one local agronomist this is due to the increased rainfall and the climate's impact on crop growth. 

"This is one of the biggest large scale grasshopper events we have seen since the 80s," Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., assistant professor and agronomist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Amarillo said. "There have been over the past few years several periods when we have had locally heavy grasshopper populations but across the panhandle this is one of the biggest grasshopper events in sometime." 

Dr. Bell tells us the grasshoppers are not only a problem for local farmers due to eating crops, but they will also make their way to the city.

"They're also a problem for our residential gardeners as well as in urban areas and so there are traps and insecticide options for those regions as well," she said.

Dr. Bell says insecticides are the best option for large scale operations, but farmers are careful before spraying. 

"Farmer's just aren't out spraying insecticides and spraying unless they ultimately have to," she said. "We are seeing grasshopper pressure this year that has reached an economic threshold in many areas."

Once the farmers are at an economic lose due to grasshoppers consuming their crops they spray. 

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