First It’s Floods, Now It’s Locusts

Australia: It’s been almost two months since the worst flood on record ripped through their crops, and now Carnarvon producers in Western Australia are facing a plague of locusts.

Growers who have begun re-planting crops like melons and pumpkins say their seedlings are being wiped out.

Melissa Brady, from the Carnarvon Growers Association, says it’s a major blow to the region, which is still trying to recover from the floods.

“The locusts are attacking all of the seedlings, they’re throughout the town, chewing people’s lawns, even eating shade-cloths…. there’s just millions of them.”

Ms Brady says local banana growers, who were getting ready to capitalise on high prices, now risk losing a lot of their crop to the pests.

She says Carnarvon growers are desperate for the Department of Agriculture and Food to step in and help.

“They’ve (DAFWA) done nothing,” she said.

“It’s been really difficult to get any kind of information or any kind of assistance from them.

“We’re looking to get some type of aerial spraying done, not on the plantations, but around them and in the surrounding bushland.

“We’re hoping the ag department will get on board and give us a hand as quickly as possible before it gets out of control.”

Svetlana Micic, an entomologist from the Department of Agriculture and Food, says she can’t comment on ‘ground help’ from the Department of Agriculture and Food.

“All I can do is give advice on control,” she said.

“We have advice available on our website about chemicals used to control the spur-throated locust.

“I should mention that the spur-throated locust is more difficult to kill than the Australian Plague Locust.

“The rate of chemicals used for the Australian Plague Locust won’t work on the spur throated locust.

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