Grasshoppers invade Portales costing farmers money

PORTALES N.M.(KRQE) – Grasshoppers have taken over Portales and they’re more than just an annoyance, they’re costing people money.

“It seems like every time you step the ground moves,” said Amanda Kaberlein, Portales resident.

Grasshoppers have swarmed the eastern New Mexico town.

“We live out in the country and in the weeds and all, they’re thick pretty much everywhere seems like,” said Drew Runyan, Portales resident.

For farmers like Carlos Paiz they have become a problem. This year he lost almost $5,000 worth of alfalfa to the pests.

” I’ve been in this part of the country for many many years and this is the worst we seen it,” said Paiz.

The Roosevelt County Agricultural Office says there are two factors that have led to this bug invasion. One is the very rainy year Portales has seen, which makes for excellent hatching conditions. The agriculture extension office also tells us the grasshoppers are migrating from neighboring counties.

As for Paiz, he says insects problems come with the territory.

“The hay on my behalf is done for this year. So all I can do is hope and pray for the rest of the farmers that it will come out alright. And some of them have suffered, some of them haven’t seen a one. So that’s just the way the cookie crumbles,” he said.

The county’s extension service say they believe the grasshoppers will die off by the fall.

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