Cropping

WA growers on locust watch as seeding ramps up

Neil Lyon, April 19, 2018

LOW level locust activity in the central farming regions of Western Australia has put growers on alert as winter crop seeding gets underway.

Australian plague locust

WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) research officer, Svetlana Micic, Albany, said there were reports of locusts in the Central Agricultural area in districts such as around Kondinin.

Locust activity is largely isolated to paddocks that have carried over a ‘green bridge’ of weeds through the February to March period.

“Our surveys show they are at low levels, so it really depends on where there has been a ‘green bridge’,” she said.

“It is only those areas that had a ‘green bridge’ prior to seeding that are most at risk. It is very localised.

“Locusts are on the wing, so there is movement happening. It is unlikely to cause any issues, but farmers need to be aware that when they are seeding if there are locusts in the area they may have to put control measures in place.”

Ms Micic said reports of localised locust activity at this time of year were not unusual.

“Last year there was a lot of activity post-harvest with a lot of locusts hatching and moving around the landscape,” she said.

“So, it is not unexpected. We have had a dry summer, so we haven’t had the large locust activity that might have eventuated if we had had a wet summer. That has caused a decrease in numbers. They are really only in places that had summer rainfall in January.”

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Australian Plague Locust activity can be reported to the PestFax team via the PestFax Reporter app.

For insecticide information visit the department’s Australian plague locust control: registered insecticides.

More information can be found at the department’s Diagnosing locusts and grasshoppers in crops and Australian plague locust: overview pages.

 

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