Biggest Spraying Effort of Season Set For Tuesday
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) _ Airplanes will rain insecticide on an area 44 miles long and four miles wide in this summer’s most intensive assault on grasshoppers that have infested the state’s farm and rangeland, federal officials said Monday.
Four planes will spray malathion over three counties Tuesday, covering 230,000 acres that is owned mostly by the federal Bureau of Land Management, said Roger Pollard, a federal Agriculture Department spokesman.
Grasshoppers were found in densities of betweeen eight and 35 per square yard in the area, Pollard said. Eight grasshoppers per square yard are considered able to cause economically signficant damage.
Last summer, during the state’s worst grasshopper infestation in three decades, densities of up to 300 were reported, Pollard said. Losses last year were estimated at more than $11 million.
As of Monday, 124,283 acres had been sprayed in Idaho this summer, Pollard said.
By the same time last year, more than 4.3 million acres had been sprayed. In two months, more than 6 million acres of southern Idaho farm and rangeland were sprayed.