Valley County farmers and ranchers say the region's hot, dry weather has sparked a major infestation of grasshoppers.
This morning's McCall Star-News calls the infestation an "explosion" and reports that landowners are huddling with the Idaho Department of Agriculture to bomb the insects with poisonous bait. The crop dusting began this week.
"Until some of you started calling, we didn't know you had a problem," the Ag Department's Division of Plant Industries administrator, Lloyd Knight, told a group of farmers and ranchers July 22.
Knight advised ranchers to move domestic livestock off of the land before the crop dusting, which was expected to treat approximately 22,000 acres, including areas west of Lake Fork, north and east of Donnelly, south of the Gold Fork arm, east of Idaho 44 from Little Donner Summit to the Cabarton area and Round Valley, according to the Star-News.
The crop dusting traditionally uses Malathion, a common insecticide. According to the Department of Ag, Malathion is "very effective against young and adult grasshoppers, also reducing their numbers next year."
Property owners were expected to pay $5 an acre in a 50-50 cost share with the state for the aerial spraying.