Spraying for grasshoppers in a three county area this spring will take funding. Prowers County Commissioners are searching their budget for funds, and Mike Pollart, Southeast District Manager for the State Land Board is assessing the costs involved for Prowers, Bent and Kiowa counties. This is the second discussion on what appears to be a significant summer in the grasshopper breeding cycle. The commissioners met April 7 with Bruce Fickenscher and Wilma Trujillo, Ph.D., S.E. Area CSU agronomist who gave the first alert about the potential for a huge growing season. Pollart is echoing their remarks and said the State Land Board has $10,000 available for these counties. Of the three, he said, Kiowa is the least infested at the month. He did recommend getting ready to go, stating that June will be the next hatching cycle, and it appears to be a big one, compared to 2010, mostly due to dryer conditions in the southeast part of the state. “Right now, the adults are too big to spray to have any effect, but we need to get ready for the next cycle in June,” he added. “Once the land warms up and you see some greening on the fields, it just provides more of the grasshoppers with a meal,” he said.
Pollart said he’ll schedule meetings with commissioners in the other counties over the next ten days and get back to the commissioners with a cost estimate. “We can do strip spraying on selected acres,” he said, “and this will allow us to cover more acres with less spray, and still be just as effective.” The commissioners said they’d review the budget for some funding, but also recommended a joint venture between public land and private landowners.