During the past 88 years of agricultural history in South Dakota, 38 have been years in which grasshoppers were present in above normal numbers. During 17 of these 38 years grasshoppers have been a serious pest of agricultural crops in South Dakota and neighboring states. Many millions of dollars worth of cereal, forage and truck crops during each of these 17 years were destroyed by hungry hordes of the insects. The impetus given soil conservation work and farm woodlot and shelterbelt plantings of trees in the past few years has brought about the realization that grasshoppers are far more than just a serious menace to growing vegetation. In areas where hoppers appear in outbreak numbers they are, through the destruction of growing plants, very definitely one of the major hazards of the soil itself. Under dry conditions and a lack of vegetative cover the soil in restricted portions of South Dakota and other Great Plains states is subject to devastating 0rosion by wind. The dust storms of a few years ago, fences buried by drifting soil and eroded wastes where cultivation was attempted in once fertile prairies--all bear mute testimony to this statement. Drought and improper treatment of the soil have been two of the important long-time factors in bringing about these conditions while grasshoppers have been one of the most important immediate factors.
Number of Pages
South Dakota State College
© South Dakota State University
Spawn, Gerald B., "Tillage Methods in Grasshopper Control" (1940). Agricultural Experiment Station Entomology Pamphlets (1940-1952). 1.