Warm weather forecasts prompt calls for locust lookout across state
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Forecast temperatures in the mid-twenty degrees-range across some parts of the State have prompted the NSW Department of Primary Industries to call on farmers to check their paddocks for hatching locusts this weekend.
NSW Plague Locust Commissioner, Graeme Eggleston, today said the onset of warm spring weather had triggered some expected isolated locust hatchings, but the current situation is nowhere near the extent of last spring.
“This time last spring there was 2120 reported locust hatching sites across all of NSW,” Mr Eggleston said.
“Today there are only 12 reported locust hatching sites across the State and these are limited to Condobolin, Narrandera, Hume, Tamworth, Narrabri, Coonabarabran, Dubbo and Riverina Rural Lands Protection Boards (RLPBs).”
Mr Eggleston said due to the nature of the Australian Plague Locust, each year there are reports of hatchings in spring and many of these are small and therefore do not warrant treatment.
“The Australian plague locust is a resilient insect and what we are seeing is a very small over wintering population and also some hatchings from eggs laid earlier in the year,” Mr Eggleston said.
“Some control will be necessary in parts of the State again this spring and the NSW DPI and Rural Lands Protection Boards have formulated an attack plan and have adequate stock of chemical and resources.
“Again, we are relying on farmers to be vigilant checking their paddocks for locusts and immediately contacting their RLPB if they detect locusts.
“Even though we are expecting a much smaller outbreak this season, farmers need to be on guard for locusts and swift in controlling them.”
“Last spring the State Government’s locust campaign saved $1 billion in crops and pastures and farmers efforts were a major reason behind that success.”
Media Contact: Brett Fifield 63913311, 0427 029 511