State offers aid to curb looming grasshopper, Mormon cricket outbreaks

State officials are expecting a severe outbreak of grasshoppers like these, as well as Mormon crickets a type of katydid that can devastate range plants. (Oregon Department of Agriculture photo)

Agriculture officials and eastern Oregon landowners are gearing up for another big grasshopper infestation this year, but there’s a new effort that could help curb the spread of the range-devouring pests.

The state Legislature in 2021 approved $5 million for a program to combat the infestation of grasshoppers and Mormon crickets across Oregon, including areas of Malheur County. More than $4 million of that is earmarked for suppression and treatment of outbreaks, with the balance aimed at pre-treatment work and post-treatment surveys.

The expected hopper population boom follows last year’s outbreaks, which the Oregon Department of Agriculture described as the worst in . . .