More endtimes stuff – this time grasshoppers who love hemp..
Hemp Grower reports
Julia Meissner was hoping this year would be better than the last.
Much of the 140 acres of hemp she planted for cannabidiol (CBD) in 2019 on her farm, M&V Farm and Ranch in Chester, Mont., was taken out by a hailstorm.
This year, she has a contract with IND HEMP, a hemp oilseed and fiber processing company, to grow 700 acres of organic hemp for its seed and stalk. Her field looked lush and green by July, and she felt confident she’d have a decent crop for sale.
Then, the grasshoppers came.
As if on cue, Meissner says the critters moved in as the plants reached maturity in the middle of July. At first, they chewed on the large leaves near the bottom—it was minor damage, but ultimately redeemable.
The real trouble began as they worked their way up, eating the leaves that held the bud and seeds in place, knocking them to the ground like coins falling from holes in a pocket. Once they’d stripped the leaves, they began gnawing on the hemp’s fibrous stem.
Meissner’s irrigation pivots have, for the most part, prevented the grasshoppers from heavily damaging a bulk of her field. But the surrounding parts of her hemp field untouched by the pivots are brown with damage.
“It’s just sticks—60 acres of just sticks,” Meissner says. “We are definitely seeing the dollar signs disappear. … In 14 years, I’ve never seen grasshoppers like this.”
The voracious critters are moving through the northern part of Montana, and they have taken a liking to hemp (although entomologists Hemp Grower spoke with say grasshoppers will eat just about any plant.) Benjamin Brimlow, an agronomist with IND HEMP, says several of the roughly 35 farmers he’s working with this year have been hit severely.
“We’ll be able to recover most of our acres. The hard thing is some farmers’ fields are completely lost—zero. They’ve been eaten down to the nub,” Brimlow says. “What should look like a green stand looks like a wheat stubblefield. The fields that got hit are just annihilated.”