Grasshoppers Dangerous, Expensive For Farmers

Everybody has them in their yard. They seem harmless. But grasshoppers can be dangerous and expensive for East Texas farmers.

The warm dry spring and summer have brought the grasshoppers back in large numbers. Many ranchers grow hay to support their cattle, and large numbers of grasshoppers can take that option away.

Farmers and ranchers have to poison the grasshoppers to keep them away, but poisons are expensive. And the bugs are so maneuverable, large areas must be treated at the same time to prevent them from escaping.

Chester Jackson counted on his crops to feed his cattle. Normally, he gets 40 to 50 rolls of hay from his land, enough to feed his herd. This year, he only got three rolls. "I have ordered fifty rolls of hay from my neighbors that I'll be getting this week," Chester said, "and I have to hope the other cuttings will be enough to do for next year."