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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 15, 1913, Image 13

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-07-15/ed-1/seq-13/

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THE GRASSHOPPER ARMIES OVER WESTERN
COUNTRY EATING EVERY GREEN THING
Dodge City, Kan., July 15. While
Kansas and the Southwest have been
kiln-dried and baked in weeks of in
tolerable heat, little Mr. Grasshopper
has been having the time of his glad
young life. He should worry about
the heat!
This semi-arid country is swarm
ing with hoppers, from Great Bend
west to the foothills of the Rockies,
from "No Man's Land" down through
Oklahoma, the Panhandle and New
Mexico.
A cold spell a month ago kept the
pest dormant and saved the wheat.
Then followed the hot, dry spell
that hatches out 90 per cent of the
eggs laid in the ground last fall by
millions of lady hoppers. The ground
became alive with gnat-like insects
the baby hoppers foraging for food
and growing rapidly.
Soon armies were on the move,
marching through fields of late
wheat, young corn, kafir and milo.
As their wings grew they spread fast
er and attacked the orchards. Now,
with grass and weeds eaten up or
killed by the drouth, they are a grow
ing' menace to all crops.
Today I walked into the country
to the east of this old "Cowboy Cap
ital." At every step my foot started
a little cloud of rasping wings and
legs, yellow, brown, black and green.
I saw apple trees stripped of every
leaf, green peaches gnawed till bare
stones alone clung to the boughs,
corn leaves devoured and juicy stalks
punctured till they fell, alfalfa leveled
to the ground, fence posts plastered
with green hoppers enjoying their
siesta.
Mr. Hopper is well equipped for
his eating job. He has several hun
dred eyes to see food with, a pair of
jaws that can chew anything, and
the appetite of a hired hand.
Fred Hahn, a farmer near here,
tells me he has to hide the pitchforks
to keep the hoppers from biting holes
in the handles.
Deacon Buckthorn, who lives
south of the river, near Syracuse,
declares he saw one old hopper that
had met with an accident and lost all
his body except the head, chewing
Grasshoppers try to get nourish
ment out of a fence post.
away like mad on a young maize
plant.
The destruqtion thus far is less a
real calamity than a warning. The
farmers fear the loss of their forage
and fruit crops and a worse plague
next year.
And for the first time Kansas farm
ers are banding together to fight the
pest scientifically. The commission
ers of Ford County have announced
a hopper-killing bee. The county
furnishes the "dope" free and the

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