Grasshopper populations down in most of Nebraska

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) - The number of grasshoppers is down in parts of Nebraska, thanks to a relatively cool spring.  Te decline is good news for many farmers and ranchers in west-central Nebraska, because the bugs are considered pests.  Dave Boxler, an entomologist with the West Central Research and Extension Center, says the numbers will remain fairly steady into the fall. Boxler says a recent survey showed that number of grasshoppers per square yard is lower than 10. As a result, farmers and ranchers in the area may not have to treat their land.  Some counties are still battling the pests, which can destroy entire pastures. Boxler says officials are monitoring numbers in Arthur and Cherry counties.