Seven grasshoppers per square yard over 10 acres can eat the same amount as one cow. In Utah last year, they, along with locusts and Mormon crickets, did about $25 million in damage.

Outbreaks tend to last more than one year. So farmers and ranchers who had a grasshopper problem in 2001 may want to take advantage of free help from USDA-ARS. The agency has a Web site available to give land managers the best pest management resources to help them deal with the insects.

The Web site includes the most recent research in grasshopper management, identification, biology, ecology and control tactics. It’s a collaborative effort of ARS, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the University of Wyoming. The project is coordinated by the ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT.

Check out the Web site at sidney.ars.usda.gov/grasshopper. You can order, through the site, a free CD-ROM with the same information. Or contact the ARS lab at 1500 North Central Ave., Sidney, MT 59270. Phone: 406-433-2020; fax: 406-433-5038; e-mail: hoppercd@sidney.ars.usda.gov.