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Hoppers Prosper In Texas Drought

They are like dust in the desert. Hatched by the drought, the grasshoppers are swarming across sunburned central Texas.

"We can't stand too much more of this. We really can't," farmer Joe Wilder tells CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara.

Wilder sees the drought worsen each day, from the cow pasture to the cornfield. "The first thing they'll do is eat the leaves off," says Wilder.

The hoppers and the heat have ravaged hundreds of acres. Some corn is less than half the size it should be. "It looks like it's gonna be devastating. It looks like it's gonna go on for awhile," says Wilder.

Farmers say there have been a few showers off and on, but a good
soaking rain hasn't fallen here in almost 4 months.

"I've been telling these farmers they were gonna have a lot of bugs this year, and the drier it gets, the worse they're gonna get," says crop duster James Knape.

He flies from dawn till dark, spraying pesticides for the bugs invading Texas rice fields.

"And this is really early for 'em to be this bad," Knape continues.

The bugs are threatening Michael Wollam's irrigated rice, a crop
already damaged by weeks of scorching heat.

"They're very elusive," says Wollam. They are so bad this summer, Wollam's rice has been sprayed more in one week than all of last year.

"We can control the insects with insecticide. We can't control the heat and the hot weather blowing all the time like it has this year," says Wollam.

This year's Texas drought losses are already estimated at almost $2 billion and climbing.

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