Lawmakers increase funding to combat grasshoppers and crickets
Oregon lawmakers have signed off on an additional $1.2 million to fight hungry grasshoppers and crickets.
It comes after the Oregon Department of Agriculture said an initial $5 million approved last year won’t be enough to suppress the outbreak, which has spread to more than 10 million acres.
“Drought conditions in central and eastern Oregon have caused a significant increase in grasshopper production and crickets, and they are adversely impacting farming and grazing lands throughout my district,” said Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, during a Friday meeting of the Legislature’s Emergency Board.
The money will go into a cost-sharing fund that allows private landowners to be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of the cost of the pest control program.
"This has been a big problem down here in Klamath County," said Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Malin, who said he's gotten photos from his constituents that showed "plague-like" conditions.
The ODA is accepting applications for the grasshopper and cricket suppression program until August 1.