BRAZIL: Winged Invasion

Locusts came from the west, from the wild Chaco region of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. They swarmed into southern Brazil on a 60-mile front, blotting out the sun as they flew, making more noise than a squadron of diving planes. It took them four hours (at 9 m.p.h.) to fly over one village in Paranaá state. They blocked roads, stalled trains, invaded houses. They devastated eight towns, ate up an estimated 60,000 tons of wheat —more than half of Brazil's small but vital wheat crop.

And still they came, the red-legged...