Molong district landholders urged to step up locust surveillance
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Landholders in the Molong Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) are being urged to increase their surveillance for plague locusts on suspicion they are present over a larger area than has been reported.
NSW Plague Locust Commissioner, Graeme Eggleston, said higher levels of locust activity reported in surrounding areas indicate there may be significant unreported locust activity throughout much of the Molong RLPB.
"Some landholders in Molong area may think the threat is over, that the Molong board is not affected, or locusts are present in numbers too low to worry about, but this is definitely not the case. Even small numbers of locusts need to be reported," Mr Eggleston said.
"Reports have been received from the Euchareena, Cumnock, Molong, Cudal, Manildra, Canowindra, Eugowra and Goolagong districts, but to date most of these locusts have been present in densities too low to treat.
"A low density swarm was spotted last week north of Parkes and it was moving to the north, which is unusual as locust swarms generally fly to the south.
"Very few reports have been received from around Peak Hill, Tullamore and Trundle even though surrounding districts are known to have locusts. This indicates that locusts are likely to be present in these areas."
Mr Eggleston said small numbers of locusts have the potential to cause significant damage if not monitored and controlled as soon as they reach the treatment threshold.
"Everybody needs to be vigilant. This means looking for locusts, reporting them and treating them when they are present in sufficient numbers," he said.
"I urge all landholders in the Molong RLPB to continue looking for locusts of all ages."
A new generation of locusts is expected to hatch over the next few weeks in central and southern NSW, and surveillance indicates it could be bigger than the last generation.
"Land managers in Molong should continue regular checks of their whole property for juvenile locusts congregating on the ground, flying swarms and adult locusts laying eggs in the soil," Mr Eggleston said.
"If you see egg laying, it is a good idea to mark the site before reporting it to the Molong RLPB on 6366 8505.
"This will help rangers monitor the site so the next generation can be treated if they are present in sufficient numbers at locations where treatment is feasible.
"Failure to take this opportunity could allow the next generation to take to the wing and breed yet another larger generation capable of causing extensive damage to pastures and next year’s crop."
Media contact: Tom Braz 02 6391 3579, 0428 256 596