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Ag officials: 'Bad year' for grasshoppers in Utah

Published July 31, 2013 12:23 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Officials say it's been a particularly bad year for grasshoppers in southern Utah, with at least one farmer losing tons of cantaloupes and hundreds of fruit trees.

Entomologist Clint Burfitt of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food says there have been 15 to 20 pest-related outbreaks in Utah so far this year. He tells The Spectrum that the cause can be traced to ideal conditions for the locusts last year, and he points to food resources and the timing of precipitation and hatching.

David Stirling of Stirling Fruit and Vegetable Company in Hurricane says he's never seen invasions like this. He says he's lost about 50,000 pounds of cantaloupe, 1,000 cherry trees and 500 peach trees since the first outbreak in May.