In the 1870s, enormous swarms of grasshoppers beset pioneers on the American plains

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farmsteads on the American plains were beset by enormous swarms of grasshoppers sweeping eastward from the Rocky Mountains

If they’re swarming, doesn’t that make them locusts?


Jeffrey Lockwood’s book Locust is a good read about that swarm.

For work I have a colony of a few hundred gregarious grasshoppers. I like the the little critters, but the idea of a swarm of 50 million locusts is horrifying. They eat everything. As the podcast said, some even ate hides off of horses trapped in stables.

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I haven’t listen to the pod cast. But does it go into what saved the US from the locust/grasshoppers.

Factory farming. The very act of plowing up ‘huge tracts’ of land destroyed their homes/nest.
It was a perfect solution that happened naturally.

Now we’re turning more land into ‘non farm land’ for development, and importing more food. This might be a problem.

The Rocky Mountain locust was made extinct in the the 1890s, long before factory farms.

Also destroying huge tracts of land is far from “perfect” or “natural”

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I should have said cast iron tilling and the mid 1800’s agricultural revelation in America.
Locust and tilling farming 1874

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