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Carla Mae Lorcha

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Grasshopper plague

In 1931, a swarm of grasshoppers descended over Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, destroying thousands of acres of crops. Those who experienced it said it was not an exaggeration to say they were so thick that you could scoop them up in a scoop shovel. Motor travellers had to roll down the windshield to keep them from raining in on their feet. The grasshoppers had eaten the corn down to the ground, leaving not a stalk standing. Because egg pods are laid in the soil, but susceptible to fungal diseases of wet soil, survival of eggs is best during dry years. Outbreaks are often related to periods of drought.

I don't want any publicity

"I don't want any publicity – you get too many begging letters. If they're anything like the ones I send out I don't want to know!"

Tony Hancock (1924-1968)

Picture: Rex Features

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