Grasshopper activity has been noted this week in Iowa. These insects feed on grasses and weeds, and can become field crops pests. In corn and soybean, feeding is frequently, but not always, restricted to field edges. When crop injury does occur, it usually is related to drought conditions due to a reduction in natural vegetation.
Many short-horned grasshoppers exist and range from 1-2 inches in length as adults. The wings are usually developed but some short or absent wing forms are possible. Nymphs and adults move by jumping with enlarged hindleg femurs and some adults fly short distances. Two common species, the differential grasshopper and the redlegged grasshopper are most likely to cause field crop injury in Iowa.