With a “bumper harvest” set to begin, Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has warned landholders about the potential impacts of a locust outbreak.
Mr Marshall is urging landowners to be on the lookout for the pest activity and to report any sightings to Local Land Services immediately.
“Landholders are our eyes on the ground across NSW and by reporting locust activity early, it helps build a picture of the state-wide situation,” Mr Marshall said.
”Locust outbreaks can potentially affect very large areas of crops and pasture, and if not controlled, can cause significant economic loss to farmers.
“Local Land Services (LLS) biosecurity staff are trained in locust identification and control options, so if you think you’ve found signs of activity, reach out immediately.”
Farmers are encouraged to look out for eggs in loamy red soils, especially on compact roads next to crops, tree lines and farm buildings, usually on higher grounds.
NSW Plague Locust Commissioner Scott Charlton said while fewer reports of locusts had been received than in previous years, landholders west of the ranges should still be vigilant and expect sporadic outbreaks.
“Despite warmer weather and high rainfall forecast across much of the state this spring, we have received very few reports to date of locust activity,” Mr Charlton said.
“We are still encouraging landowners in the upper Western and far Northwest to monitor for any activity, as this will help control teams with their response efforts and limit further spread of locusts.
“Locust hatching is still expected in the northwest of the state throughout September as temperatures increase, while outbreaks throughout the lower western Riverina may not occur until October.
“On-ground treatment by landholders once locusts begin to ‘band’ is by far the best and most effective treatment option and will help limit new swarms.”
If you suspect Australian Plague Locusts, contact your nearest LLS office on 1300 795 299. LLS can issue landholders with pesticide to spray detected bands of locusts.
To find out more on management options, visit NSW DPI and LLS websites.