LHPA Gains Ground on locusts

Australia: A second assault on locusts in the state’s northwest is underway.

The Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) says more than 3,000 hectares in the Walgett and Carinda districts have been spraying again this week, after the area was initially treated a few weeks ago.

The Deputy Locust Commissioner Simon Oliver says aerial surveillance has detected remaining bands of the pest that weren’t killed in the first round of spraying.

However, he says surveillance will continue for some time before the area is deemed locust free.

“We’ll keep putting a plane over probably at least once a week, for the next two or three weeks to make sure that we’ve got everything up there that’s worth spraying,” he said.

“We’ve actually got a spray plane operating a little bit further west out in the Bourke, Brewarrina area and again it’s looking for stuff that may have been missed in the first round of spraying two or three weeks ago.”

Mr Oliver says recent wet and windy conditions may be a blessing for farmers.

He says while the LHPA has experienced delays in its spraying campaign due to the weather, it has also delayed hatchings of locusts.

Nymphs have been emerging gradually, allowing the LHPA to focus on hotspots, rather than one large outbreak.

Mr Oliver says the longer the locust hatchings are delayed, the better it will be for landowners.

“Harvest is getting that much closer and the crops will start to ripen and they’ll be less attractive to any locusts that may be flying about so we’re hoping that again will help minimise any damage to crops.”

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