Monday, March 29, 2010


[click photo]

Impending disaster?

DENVER—Farmers and ranchers across the West are bracing for a grasshopper infestation that could devastate millions of acres of crops and land used for grazing.

Over the coming weeks, federal officials say, grasshoppers will likely hatch in bigger numbers than any year since 1985. Hungry swarms caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage that year when they devoured corn, barley, alfalfa, beets—even fence posts and the paint off the sides of barns.

[click map for clearer view]



  1. "It does not appear as though the USDA has any sense of urgency in the face of this pending plague," the delegation wrote in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last month.

    That's the money quote, if you ask me.

    Also the bit about not having the money for mitigation because they spent it all counting the grasshoppers is a classic, too. Same deal as with all agency budget cuts throughout our history. They ALWAYS opt to keep their offices staffed over providing the services for which they were formed. ALWAYS.

    That is the very ESSENCE of capitalism.