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I hesitate to even offer this tip because of the potential for abuse, but it's my hope that the readers of this forum are responsible and will not cause any crop damage. For those contributors that I know personally or by reputation I know this is true. Here goes.

Harvest time is just getting started, and here and there are scattered grain and second cutting alfalfa fields that have been swathed. WITH THE FARMER'S PERMISSION, take your frog or butterfly net into the field and kneel next to a thick section of swath. Gently lift up that swath, and VOILA! All of the crickets that were in that field are now concentrated under the swath. They went there for shade, and found easy access to eat the best parts of the crop plants. Lay your frog net down anywhere, and you should have a dozen crickets or more. It sure beats $2 a dozen at pet stores and bait shops!

If the farmer gives you permission to go in he will likely tell you what not to do himself, but here are some obvious things.

1)Don't drive in the field. Besides shelling out the grain or knocking leaves off the alfalfa in the swathes you run over, there is a very real possibility that the field can catch fire from the heat of your exhaust system.

2)Don't walk on the swaths. This will also cause them to shell out.

3)Don't split the swaths, or disturb them in any other way than lifting straight up. They were made by laying the heads of the newly cut grain on the straw already in the swath for good reasons. The heads on top of the swath are exposed to the sun and wind for quick drying, and the straw cradles the heads into the combine. If you disturb the swath it won't dry as fast, and the combine can't pick it up unless the header is lowered. If the farmer lowers the header on his combine he gets dirt and rocks that could damage his equipment as well as increasing his dockage at the elevator.

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