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Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Forty-seventh annual meeting, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, December 14, 1933. Forty-seventh summer convention, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, August 8, 1933

Chambers, E. L.
Current insect problems and new insecticides,   pp. 11-13 PDF (866.2 KB)

Page 12

lessly the one responsible for the most damage to our crops here in
Wisconsin this summer, was the grasshopper. While grasshopper in-
jury occurs annually in several counties in the northern part of the
state, we never have had the losses and widespread distribution that
we experienced last summer. More than thirty-three counties have
required some aid from the state during the past two months. The
situation became so acute that the Legislature appropriated $10,000
to buy poison for the control of grasshoppers and army worms. This
sum of money naturally did not go very far having to be spread over
so much territory and several thousand dollars additional funds had to
be allotted by the Governor from other projects of the Department.
Distributing this money in counties where it did not amount to a drop
in the bucket was about as pleasant a task as attempting to divide up
several lolly-pops between a schoolroom of children. Those who got
no lolly-pops did not like you and those who got one thought they
should have a different colored one like someone else got. In grass-
hopper control each county agent felt that his county was an excep-
tion and that most of the appropriation should be spent in his county.
The money, we believe, was allotted fairly since it was divided on the
basis of a grasshopper population determined by an accurate survey
One county, Langlade for instance, spent nearly twelve thousand dol-
lars of its own funds and received less than two thousand dollars from
the state funds. The poison was mixed and distributed under the
direction of the Department of Agriculture and Markets and in every
case where the material was used as directed, satisfactory results were
secured and no injuries resulted. Every bag of poison carried a
warning that the sack should be burned after being emptied and de-
spite all our warnings through the press and during the distribution,
some of the farmers became careless, thinking that the poison would
not injure the livestock and allowed them to have access to it, result-
ing in their death. A few reports of this kind soon emphasized the
danger of this practice and prevented further losses.
Army worm outbreaks occurred in the vicinity of Appleton, Green
Bay, Camp Douglas and Sheboygan and these also were brought un-
der control by poisoning with this same white arsenic, bran and mo-
lasses, provided by the special state appropriation. As far as other
major pests are concerned, we can only say that it being a hot, dry
season following a mild winter, conditions seemed ideal for all of our
more serious pests. The potato beetle was worse than it has been for
years, the cucumber beetle, corn ear worm, cut worms, codling moths,
canker worms as well as scale insects and plant lice, all seemed to take
advantage last year of the growers who were compelled to retrench
financially and could do little in the way of control. More than one
hundred carloads of poison bran grasshopper bait was needed to check
the grasshoppers. Despite the speeding up of legislation, purchase,
and delivery of the poison, it was nearly the first of July before the
most of the material was distributed. A little attention earlier could
have reduced these losses to a minimum by killing the grasshoppers in
their egg beds at much less expense of time and materials, but like
most insect problems, it is difficult to convince the public until the
damage is done.
I have brought along with me today some specimens of three plants
used for making two new insecticides now becoming popular on the
market to replace arsenical sprays wherever possible. With so much
agitation on the subject of spray residues, the public is being fright-
ened into believing that they are almost taking their lives in their
own hands by eating sprayed fruit. As a matter of fact, there are
other avenues of poison that are more dangerous than this one, yet the
propaganda directed against fruit has been very disastrous and prob-
ably will necessitate the finding of something else as a substitute for

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