Locusts

Last updated: 17 October 2016

2016/17 Locust Season

In NSW autumn surveys by Australian Plague Locust Commission staff identified low density adults in most regions. Medium density adults persisted in a small area south of Broken Hill, the Hillston–Booligal, Deniliquin and Balranald areas of the Riverina, and the Bourke–Louth area along the Darling River. Those areas are more likely to produce nymphs at medium and locally high densities during October and November. The outlook for the remainder of spring is for localised low and medium density nymphs in all regions of NSW. NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS) continue to plan and prepare for any potential plague locust control program.

Australian Plague Locust: Localised activity is expected in the Far Southwest, Central West, North West and Riverina during spring and summer in similar circumstances to the 2014-15 season. Localised ground control programs are likely in these areas. There is likely to be some localised high densities populations with small bands expected in these parts of NSW. At this stage there is a low risk of widespread high density infestations in any region during spring 2016.

Recent rain across the eastern states will continue to provide favourable conditions that have the potential to allow locust numbers to build over the spring/summer of 2016-17.

If populations increase over this summer, autumn and spring 2017 may potentially see significant damaging populations.

Spur-throated Locust: The outlook in Queensland is for an overall increase in the young adult population during autumn to an equivalent or higher level than in 2015, and significantly higher than in other recent years.

Some swarm development, movement and migrations are possible during spring, with a moderate risk of some swarms impacting Queensland cropping areas. There is unlikely to be any significant impact to agriculture in NSW.

Migratory Locust: There is a low probability of gregarious populations developing in Queensland and a low probability of a widespread infestation developing during winter or spring 2016. These populations are unlikely to result in any issues for NSW.

Landholders are responsible for the control of locusts on their land. If locust populations reach agreed treatment criteria, LLS will supply ratepayers with insecticide to treat locusts.

NSW DPI and LLS will advise if any significant locust activity develops.

Expression of Interest (EOIs)

Air Operators can contact the NSW Rural Fire Service for an "EOI for Call When Needed (CWN) Helicopters and Fixed Wing Aircraft to Support Emergency and Other Operations."

Further information

Further information on current (and forecasted) locust situations is available from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.