Sunday, August 1, 2010

Montana Grasshoppers Worst in 25 Years, Hmmm I May Need To Get Up To Montana Soon!

Here Come The Hoppas
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FALLON — On an abnormally cool summer morning at the Hjorth farm, grasshoppers seeking warmth form a thick stubble on the sunny face of a large barn. “They covered two-thirds of it,” said Doug Hjorth, who farms winter wheat here with his father, Dennis. “They’re bad this year.”
The outer rows of Hjorth’s grain field have been stripped of leaves. The flower bed behind the house is lousy with tiny armored invaders. When summer’s hot breath stirs, grasshoppers erupt like popped corn from the Hjorth’s cut lawn.

“All of Southeast Montana has it bad this year,” said Shayne Galford, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service. “I was out in Golden Valley County and they had a count of 64 (per square yard). That’s high.”

Any area with 15 or more grasshoppers per square yard is considered problematic by APHIS standards. Those numbers translate into more than 72,000 hoppers an acre, enough to challenge a cow for forage on Montana’s dry ranges where a single bovine might scour 5 acres to satisfy its daily diet of 30 pounds of grass. At 64 hoppers per square yard, the insects become a voracious force, easily striping 29 pounds of forage from a single acre.

Looks like my trip in a few weeks out that way may be good for my dry fly addiciton, that or I may need my buff to cover my face as to not inhale too many while out on the rivers. Regardless, my Hooper box will be filled up with every color, size and style you could ever imagine!

*Sweet Hooper dry fly action video

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Anonymous said...

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