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A common grasshopper in a field

A common grasshopper in a field

Hopping to Action Against Climate Change

With their huge appetites and ability to quickly leap from plant to plant, grasshoppers are often viewed as pests or nuisances. However, researchers with the ARS Pest Management Research Unit in Sidney, MT, discovered that these critters may have a larger environmental role to play.  Research findings indicated that the presence of grasshoppers, as well as their diets and feeding patterns, had a notable impact on their surrounding environment, particularly in terms of soil community composition and function.

One crucial effect was an increased level of carbon stored belowground, which suggests that grasshoppers may have influence over carbon sequestration processes – a novel yet relatively unexplored avenue of research.  These findings not only have significant implications for rangeland systems and grazing livestock, but also potentially in the development of future climate change mitigation tactics.  

Explore Other Discoveries

Food Additive Takes on Duty as a Pesticide

ARS scientists found that methyl benzoate can repel, and even kill, other insects and pests, including the spotted wing drosophila fly.

For the Love of Coffee

ARS scientists studied Puerto Rican fungal strains as possible biological control agents for managing the coffee berry borer in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Herbicide Beefs Up Effective Biofumigant

Combining the biofumigant with an herbicide seems to curb infestations of purple nutsedge as well as reduce nematodes and the tomato wilt bacterium.

New Sugarcane Sweetens the Deal

A new variety of sugarcane has high fiber content, excellent regrowth ability, high stalk population, cold tolerance, disease resistance, and excellent biomass yield.

Saving A Favorite Superfood

ARS scientists are combatting pests and diseases affecting avocado production in the U.S.

The Buzz Around Bee Genomics

Researchers with the ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Unit have identified a region of the honey bee genome linked to reduced colony defensiveness.

The Potato Industry’s New Stud

ARS scientists created a new potato variety with greater yields and better processing qualities, especially for making chips and fries.

Wasp Could Fight Emerald Ash Borer

In the search for natural enemies of the emerald ash borer, one promising candidate is a tiny 5-7 millimeter-long parasitic wasp that lays its eggs on EAB larvae.