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Grasshoppers destroy Minnesota crops

Grasshopper invasion

Tough times in Minnesota in the 1930s brought economic depression, droughts, and clouds of grasshoppers that destroyed crops across the state. Extension entomologist H.L. Parten and county agents conducted grasshopper-baiting demonstrations with poison bait provided by state funds. In 1939, one-fourth of all Minnesota farmers spread the bait and avoided an estimated $12.6 million crop loss during a time of 40-cent-per-bushel corn. Extension's response to the grasshopper plague helped create a research-based approach that farmers, state officials and Extension would use to tackle future problems, such as the 1980s farm foreclosures and the 2007 bovine tuberculosis outbreaks.