PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) South Dakota’s Department of Agriculture is asking land owners to take the time now to manage grasshopper populations. South Dakota Ag Secretary Lucas Lentsch says now is the perfect opportunity to scout for the pests. Each summer, the state faces the possibility of destructive grasshopper outbreaks. Officials say that predicting the outbreaks before they occur is challenging and early scouting is the key to grasshopper management. Mike Stenson with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture says the dry conditions that prevailed last summer, along with this year’s cool wet spring, could help reduce the outbreak potential for this summer. Stenson says though a large scale outbreak this year is unlikely, it’s still important to check fields and pastures for newly hatching grasshoppers. Treating grasshoppers with pesticide before they reach adulthood is the best method to control the bugs, as they become much harder to kill when they are adults and begin laying eggs. Stenson says reports are coming in of grasshoppers hatching in the southern most South Dakota counties, and these finals days of June are the perfect time for grasshopper control activities.
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