Experts are predicting a sizable grasshopper threat for summer 2004.
West Central Research Center entomologist Jack Campbell in North Platte says an alert is going out to ranchers this winter. He says grasshoppers feed on range grass and field crops, and there is a pretty high number of them.
A 2003 U.S. Department of Agriculture study indicates there is a high potential for severe infestations, mainly in the Sandhills.
Campbell says that is no surprise in light of recent weather patterns. He says grasshoppers and drought tend to go together, and much of Nebraska remains in a drought.
Campbell says a key spraying prevents mid-to late-spring hatching.
He says it also would help to have some cool, wet weather when the new hopper crop hatches. He says that could be detrimental to the population.