Cecilia Sequeira, 301-851-4054
WASHINGTON, June 22, 2020 – USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is providing $2.8 million in additional funding to support grasshopper and Mormon cricket suppression in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming as a result of higher than normal populations due to a warm, dry spring.
APHIS had originally allocated approximately $2.6 million to conduct suppression treatments. However, in response to requests from land owners and Federal and State land managers, APHIS is releasing an additional $2.8 million from the Agency’s Contingency Fund to conduct the treatments required to prevent grasshopper and Mormon cricket populations from damaging critical rangeland resources.
APHIS helps Tribal, Federal, State, and private landowners in Western States manage grasshopper and Mormon cricket damage on rangeland by providing information about population levels, conducting suppression treatments where possible, and providing technical assistance.
APHIS’s Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket program helps to reduce damage from grasshopper and cricket outbreaks, protecting agricultural resources valued at $8.7 billion (according to a 2012 Economic Analysis prepared by University of Wyoming through a cooperative agreement with APHIS).
Uncontrolled infestations could cause significant economic losses for U.S. livestock producers by reducing forage available on rangeland and therefore forcing producers to buy supplemental feed or sell their livestock at reduced prices. In addition to feeding on grasslands, high grasshopper and Mormon cricket populations can also devastate cultivated crops such as alfalfa, wheat, barley, and corn.
APHIS anticipates treating approximately 750,000 acres in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming to suppress populations and protect rangeland resources. In total, these treatments will protect more than 1.5 million acres. Fiscal year 2020 treatments are also protecting areas of four Tribal nations: Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Flathead, and Indian River.
For more information on APHIS’ Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Program visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/plant-pest-and-disease-programs/pests-and-diseases/grasshopper-mormon-cricket/ct_grasshopper_mormon_cricket.