Grasshoppers, the ground-dwelling insects are the real threats to your crops. They belong to suborder Caelifera which are the plant eaters and considered as serious pests of cereals, vegetables, and pasture, especially when they swarm in their millions as locusts and destroy crops over wide areas.
Grasshoppers have a brilliant skill of protection i.e. through Camouflage they protect themselves from predators. This leads to significant increase in population which also depends upon the weather. When the populations are large many locusts and swarming grasshoppers emigrate from their habitat.
Thus the emigration can cause severe destruction to your crops and following are some recent evidence experienced.
Central Australian quandong harvest significantly down due to grasshopper influx
By Katrina Beavan
Posted Monday 18 September, 2017 | Rural News
A Central Australian quandong grower says yields are significantly down this year, thanks to the high amount of grasshoppers in the area over summer.
Gunnar Nielsen, who grows the fruit on his block in Alice Springs, said the influx of the insects in the area in January destroyed many of the trees, some of which did not recover.
“[The grasshoppers] were really hard on all the trees, they scoffed all the leaves, and the trees have been flat out recovering.
“That’s just how it goes, when the grasshoppers eat [the] leaves and flowers then we have a bad year.
Grasshoppers, thrips threaten Panhandle crops
Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
AMARILLO – Two insects threatening Texas Panhandle crops may require treatment, but definitely need to be monitored in young cotton, corn and sorghum crops, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.
Dr. Ed Bynum, AgriLife Extension entomologist in Amarillo, said early stages of grasshoppers are emerging in the northwestern area of the Panhandle, and thrips are showing up on young cotton.
Numerous organophosphates, pyrethroids, and other classes of insecticides are labeled for grasshopper control in field crops, such as alfalfa, corn, cotton, sorghum, and soybeans. Each product is labeled for specific crops or non-cropland usage and should be consulted before use, he said.
Bynum said the organophosphate and pyrethroids products are neurotoxins and will provide fast knockdown and kill, but they also are more harmful to beneficial insects and will cause outbreaks of spider mites.
As for thrips, Bynum said now that cotton has been planted for at least a couple of weeks, insecticide seed treatments may start losing their effectiveness.
The news articles depict the grasshopper nuisance created in the agriculture sector.
Let’s see how they damage crops.
Grasshoppers are general feeders on grasses and weeds and often move to cultivated crops. Crop damage is likely to be greatest in years when dry weather accompanies high populations. Drought conditions reduce natural vegetation, forcing grasshoppers to move to cultivated crops.
The damage that grasshoppers cause appears as round to ragged holes in the leaves. These ragged holes extend in from the leaf margins and between the veins. Grasshoppers may also feed on and damage soybean pods, often chewing through the pod tissue into the seed. This may be a serious problem in dry years.
There are different types of grasshoppers and accordingly, the host plants vary. Here are some of them mentioned below:
The Clear-winged grasshopper is mainly a grass feeder. Economic damage is primarily to cereals, especially wheat and barley. Clear-winged and migratory grasshoppers have together destroyed areas of range grass and hay almost entirely.
The Packard’s grasshopper prefers herbs to grasses; it causes little damage to rangeland but will damage field and garden crops and legume pastures. It feeds on leaves, stems, and flowers of many plants. Cereals and alfalfa are heavily attacked.
The Two-striped grasshoppers feed on grasses and broad-leaved plants. The broad-leaved plants are necessary for maximum growth. They prefer the lush growth around edges of streams, marshes, and cultivated fields. Hosts include weeds and most crops, especially alfalfa and vegetables, and occasionally trees and shrubs.
The migratory grasshopper is one of the most destructive pests in western Canada. Outbreaks can lead to costly losses for grain growers. This species attacks both field and garden crops, especially cereals, tomato, celery, onion, and carrot.
According to the crop report – Aug 17, 2017: The Grasshopper invasion in crops are as following:
In Northwest region, Grasshoppers are 49 percent moderate and 11 percent over the threshold population.
In Peace, The grasshopper population is 8 percent moderate and 4 percent over the threshold.
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