[Senate GOP Release]
Funding to fight grasshopper infestation approved
Salem, OR — The Legislative Emergency Board approved $119,000 to hire a state entomologist and offset costs already shouldered by farmers to fight back a grasshopper infestation in Eastern Oregon. “I want to thank Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) for his attention to this issue,” said Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “This funding goes a long way towards keeping family farms functioning and profitable, and lets rural Oregon know that we still matter.” Ferrioli went on to thank Jan Kerns, member of the State Board of Agriculture, Baker County Commissioner Fred Warner, and Congressman Greg Walden for their efforts.
More than 733,000 acres of wheat, barley, corn, potatoes, hay and pasture crops have been affected by the infestation. Grasshoppers are being found in numbers averaging 100 per square yard. The threshold where economic losses begin taking effect is eight insects per square yard. This season farmers have personally treated almost 14,000 acres without any assistance from the state.
“Grasshoppers belong on a fishing hook, not piled up on farmland,” said Ferrioli.
Ferrioli submitted a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and House Speaker Jeff Merkely (D-Portland) on Monday requesting $119,000 from the Emergency Board to help control the grasshoppers.