MSU Extension Online Workshop on Grasshopper Outbreaks and Management Set for March 29
BOZEMAN — Montana State University Extension and USDA Agricultural Research Service will host a free, two-hour workshop, “Grasshopper Outbreaks and Management Options in 2022,” at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 29. The event will be held in-person at the Richland County MSU Extension conference room in Sidney and will also be viewable online.
Over the last year, eastern Montana and western North Dakota farmers and ranchers endured the second-largest grasshopper outbreak in the last 35 years. Annual grasshopper surveys taken last fall by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, indicate another challenging year ahead, with more than 20 million acres in the West predicted to exceed the economic threshold for the pests, and another 60 million acres nearing the threshold. The surveys predict that Montana and western Oregon will be the most impacted.
To address concerns for the coming year, two live presenters and one prerecorded speaker will discuss expectations and management strategies. Dave Branson, an entomologist who leads the pest management research unit at the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, will discuss the biology and ecology of grasshoppers, weather impacts, the potential for large outbreaks and ongoing grasshopper research. Gary Adams, Montana’s state plant health director with APHIS in Billings who oversees Montana grasshopper control programs, will discuss rangeland grasshopper management options, available treatments and limitations, existing federal spraying programs, and private cost share options. In the prerecorded segment, Kevin Wanner, MSU Extension cropland entomology specialist, will address management options in cropland systems, including for specific crops such as winter wheat.
Attendees are eligible to earn two pesticide recertification points in these categories: private agricultural pest control (private applicators), dealer, agriculture plant pest control, demonstration and research pest control, and regulatory weed. To attend online, go to richland.msuextension.org, select “Agriculture/Horticulture” on the left and follow the link.