Black Grass Bug Project Successful in Box Elder County

It looks like the war on the Black Grass Bug has been won in Box Elder County at least for this year. Utah Farmers Union President Arthur Douglas says it was a concerted effort of the Department of Agriculture, Utah State Extension and the Farmers Union. To get rid of the pesky bug that sucks the chlorophyll from the leaves of plants, moves into grain crops and mountain grasses. Douglas says about 12,000 acres were sprayed from a helicopter, and hopefully the effort will stop the damage. “A lot of the grasses, mainly in the CRP and the etches of a lot of the farmers wheat fields, they was drying it right up to nothin’,” Douglas says. “But had we let this gone I think you would’ve seen thousands of acres that would’ve been…basically the chlorophyll, what it does, is dries the plant up right into nothin’. It don’t kill the plant but it just takes all the moisture out of the plant to where it’s just a dry foliage. So of course that increases your timeliness in regards to wildland fires.” Douglas says the federal government paid 75 percent of the cost because Utah, Idaho and Nevada were successful in getting the black grass bug on the Invasive Species list. Douglas says it’s been like a stimulus to the local economy with about $100,000 spent for the spray application project.

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