Third brown locust outbreak reported in Karasburg area

12 January 2022 | Agriculture

NAMPA

KEETMANSHOOP

The ministry of agriculture is fighting a third outbreak of brown locusts in the Karasburg district of the ||Karas Region.

The ministry said in a statement that the rain received in the Ariamsvlei area, measuring up to 50 millimetres, has created a favourable breeding environment for locusts.

“These areas have been receiving daily fly-in, mating egg-laying adult, brown locusts from South Africa since mid-December 2021. We have been detecting swarms of brown locusts and spraying teams have been dispatched and are in the field,” said the statement.

It noted that the first outbreak was reported on 21 September 2021 by a commercial farmer. A team was immediately dispatched but could not trace the small swarm. The initial control commenced on 3 November 2021 in the Karasburg district.

The core breeding areas of the brown locust is around the Karasburg East and Karasburg West constituencies and in the !Nami#Nûs Constituency, near the Aus settlement.

The ministry said as of Tuesday, spraying was carried out from farm Nakop up to Swartkop in the Karasburg district, covering approximately 80 000 hectares.

It said the first instar locusts are still hatching. They do not move much and have not formed groups yet. There are however large swarms of adult locusts that migrated through the area while reproducing.

“We have also spotted some instar locusts in the Karas mountains. Given the landscape it is difficult to access and scouting is difficult. It is possible that there are more undetected first instar locusts and we are expecting more reports in the next two weeks as soon as they begin hopping,” it stated.

The ministry thanked farmers for their cooperation in fighting the locust outbreak and encouraged them to continue monitoring and report any new incidents of locust infestations to the ministry.

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