Drought Paving Way For Insects To Decimate South Idaho Crops
If you've had the weather channel on lately then you've probably heard about the extreme temperatures that have a chokehold on the vast majority of the United States right now. Triple-digit weather is being felt in the Gem State as well, and it's once again opening the door for insects swarming eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho to cause further damage to state crops.
Residents in eastern Oregon are at war with grasshoppers and crickets presently, and the extreme heat is further compounding the problem. Last year these insects damaged an estimated 10 million acres, according to opb.org.
In the summer of 2021, swarms of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers covered roadways just 80 miles west of Twin Falls in the Owyhee range and canyonlands. These invasive insect species feast on crops that include corn, wheat, alfalfa, cotton, and oats.
The Idaho Department of Agriculture is assisting farmers with state programs that offer ways to educate themselves on measures that can curb the crop destruction caused by these insects. Those who manage five acres or more in Idaho and are currently experiencing infestations may qualify for assistance through ISDA programs.
Insecticide treatment can be costly, but the ISDA also offers reimbursement programs to help farmers financially recover from crop devastation. Idaho's agriculture is responsible for generating more than $4 billion annually, according to data from invasivespecies.idaho.gov.
Temperatures will continue to average in the mid-nineties throughout most regions of southern Idaho for the next week and will be even warmer in the desert of western Idaho.