Rangeland in the western United States is a valuable agricultural resource for livestock production and provides an important habitat for wildlife. Grasshoppers and Mormon crickets (hereafter, referred to collectively as grasshoppers) are natural components of this ecosystem. However, their populations can reach outbreak levels and cause serious economic losses to rangeland forage, especially when accompanied by a drought.
Not all grasshopper species significantly damage rangeland forage, so action to protect rangeland resources is not always required when grasshopper populations increase. However, a rapid and effective response is required when a grasshopper outbreak develops and threatens rangeland forage. During such an event, Federal land management agencies, State agriculture departments, county and local governments, private groups, and/or individuals can request assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to suppress rangeland grasshopper populations. Under the Plant Protection Act, APHIS has the authority, subject to funding availability, to treat Federal, State, or private lands that have economically significant infestations of grasshoppers.
National Policy Manager