Locust Daily Situation Update DPI 4/12/10
4th December 2010
From the Department of Primary Industries
Situation as at 4.00pm, Saturday December 4, 2010
The Department of Primary Industries has repeated its call to landholders to report locust egg laying as swarming activity increases over large parts of Victoria.
State Locust Director Stephen Nee said locusts had taken flight across areas along the Murray and south of Swan Hill, with some swarms stretching up to 25kms.
“High and medium density swarms have been reported in Echuca, Charlton, St Arnaud, Quambatook and Whycheproof, flying south,” Mr Nee said.
“Locust swarms can be unpredictable, but with warmer weather forecast in the state’s north this weekend, it’s expected that greater numbers of locusts may start to fly.
“Farmers must make a business decision about whether they spray adult locusts to protect crops, keeping in mind that spraying flying adult locusts is much less effective than spraying hoppers on the ground.
“We urge motorists to take care as swarms can impact on visibility when driving. Drivers should pull over or slow down if their vision is impaired by swarms.”
Mr Nee said that while locusts egg laying and swarm activity was increasing, there were still many areas where locusts had not yet reached adulthood and therefore landholders should still be monitoring their properties ready to spray.
“In various parts of North West and North Central Victoria, we are still detecting hoppers that can be effectively treated with chemical sprays,” Mr Nee said.
“When conditions permit, landholders should be out spraying those locusts before they reach adulthood and take to the air, by which time treatment becomes largely ineffective.”
He said adult locusts were now laying eggs and that it was crucial that landholders reported any egg laying activity on their properties to the DPI Locust Hotline on 1300 135 559 or the DPI website at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/locusts
“Another generation of locusts can hatch as early as 10 days after egg laying if the weather conditions are favourable,” Mr Nee said.
“We need landholders to inform us of where locusts are laying eggs so we can respond decisively and effectively to this second generation of hatchings.”
DPI’s locust response has so far included:
• Spraying on nearly 13,000 hectares of public land, including more than 3,400 hectares treated by local governments at more than 1320 sites;
• More than 11,300 reports to the DPI locust hotline;
• 506 community meetings involving 10,774 people; and
• Aerial surveillance covering 69,000 kilometres.
Landholders have a responsibility to treat locusts and report locust activity to DPI.
What we are doing:
Recent rain has temporarily delayed further spraying of locust hoppers on public land, but DPI is continuing to identify spray targets and will resume treatment when conditions permit.
Field crews were today actively surveying hopper activity and checking for swarms in each of the three Locust Operations Areas in North West and North Central Victoria today.
What you can do:
To subscribe to the text message service that provides updates on locust activity visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/locusts
Landholders need to monitor their properties, report any activity to the DPI and be ready to spray when conditions are suitable.
Be ready to act. Talk to an agronomist or chemical seller about the best treatment options for your circumstances. All landholders – including those responsible for public land such as councils and state government agencies – are responsible for treating locusts on their land.
For information about current and planned park closures due to the spraying of locusts visit the Parks Victoria website: www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
For more information or to report locust activity call the DPI Locust Hotline 1300 135 559 or visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/locusts