NSW government helps Northern farmers plagued by locusts

The NSW Government has responded quickly to reports of Australian Plague Locusts in the State’s north by providing free support and pesticides to landholders, and by establishing a central State Co-ordination Centre, Minister for Agriculture and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announced today.

Mr Marshall said that North West and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS) was supplying the Chlorpyrifos pesticide at no cost to farmers to help tackle the pests, already reported in the Moree, Goondiwindi, North Star, Yetman and Warialda areas.

“Conditions on the ground have been ideal for locusts, which unchecked can destroy everything in their path, hence why the government has responded so quickly getting help out the door and onto farmers’ properties,” Mr Marshall said.

“Eggs can hatch in as little as two weeks in high temperatures and wet conditions – which is exactly what the Moree region has recently experienced and that’s why we’ve seen these bands of locusts stretching up to several kilometres in length.

“If you’re a landholder who has been impacted then there are direct resources available. LLS can supply Chlorpyrifos and loan boomless jets and mister units to apply the pesticide – all at no cost to eligible farmers.

“So far more than 3,000 litres of chemical have been distributed by LLS, with plenty more available. Multiple treatment options are also available privately through normal rural supply businesses.

“To further help manage the issue, NSW Department of Primary Industries has also put its State Coordination Centre on standby, ready to cooperate with LLS as required. This unlocks additional planning, technical advice, aviation and other resources as they undertake control measures to manage locusts.

“We are here to support landholders as I don’t want to see the benefits of what have been the best seasonal conditions seen in many years eaten away by these pests.”

Those wishing to access the available resources can contact the LLS Moree Depot on 1300 795 299.

Mr Marshall said many property owners were well equipped and experienced to respond to Australian Plague Locusts, however he reminded landholders to contact their nearest LLS Biosecurity Officer if they suspected an infestation.

“All land managers have an obligation to control and report plague locusts on their land,” Mr Marshall said.

“A number of landholders have been proactive in sourcing their own products, especially for broadacre cropping and while this is fantastic and for many farmers, part of the day-to-day reality of farming, we are seeing evidence from our aerial surveillance that not all properties are necessarily reporting the presence of Plague Locust. We need them to do so, or risk an increase in populations later on.

“The more information we have, the better we can target the outbreaks. Even if a farmer has quashed an outbreak effectively as part of their own management strategies, it is vital they let LLS know.

“LLS has had great cooperation with local councils who are undertaking control on council road reserves. With everyone working together and being as proactive as possible, we can get on top of this issue and continue to enjoy the bumper season so desperately needed after years of drought.”

Find more information about control of locusts.

Vision of recent surveillance around the Moree area is available.

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