Roy Boykin, Ph.D.
Grasshopper infestations are cyclical; the population rapidly escalates for two or three years before it peaks and then returns for two or three years to normal population levels. Population decline occurs when the insects run out of food or when disease spreads throughout the swarms. But after the lull in reproduction, the numbers begin to mount again and the cycle continues.
In large numbers, grasshopper swarms can become particularly damaging, with some species known to be capable of eating up to seven times their body weight in vegetation daily. Therefore, when scouting for grasshoppers, look for round to ragged holes in soybean leaves that 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, which, according to Purdue University, may be a serious problem in dry years like this one.
Jim's Morning Markets Report--August 25
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