PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Agriculture Department is urging farmers and ranchers to check their land for grasshopper infestations.

State Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says now is the best time to scout for grasshoppers. He says early scouting is the key to managing the insects.

Mike Stenson of the Agriculture Department says last summer's drought conditions may have helped reduce the potential for an outbreak of grasshoppers this summer because late-hatching species had limited green vegetation to eat. He says this spring's cool, wet weather helped suppress species hatching at that time.

Stenson says a large-scale outbreak is unlikely this summer. But he says farmers and ranchers should remember the best time to kill grasshoppers with pesticide is when they are young.

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