Lamb Production

Locust livestock and cropping impacts to get attention

Sheep Central, March 23, 2015

locustlayingNSWMar17-15Locust workshops will be held in Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo NSW this week in an effort to lift awareness of the locust situation and their impact on pastures and crops.

Locust updates will also be held after native vegetation information sessions at Forbes and Dubbo this week.

Senior LLS cropping officer Neroli Brennan said locust damage can be variable depending on the feed source, temperature and concentration.

“They say generally if it’s quite warm conditions, in around the 30s, and you’ve got about 20 of the little hoppers or nymphs per square metre, that’s equivalent to about 3-5 DSEs per hectare.

“So it can be quite significant.”

She said some sources indicate that when the locusts reached adult stage and were in higher densities, more than 50 adults per square metre, their impact can be equivalent to around 30 DSEs per hectare.

“So that’s when they are quite thick on the ground.”

The priority at the moment is to get producers into their paddocks and monitoring for hatching and nymph or hopper activity, Ms Brennan said.

“When they come out of the egg bed, if they are in some grassy material or in emerging crops they are often hard to spot, but that’s the best time to control them.

“Once they are on the wing, it is quite hard to control them.”

Newly hatched nymphs go through five stages of growth in five weeks before they can fly. If they have a choice they  prefer grassy crops such as oats, Ms Brennan said.

“But at the moment anything that is green is being attacked.”

Workshops to focus on limiting impacts

Central West Local Land Services said the focus at the workshops will be on the variables that drive locust impact on crops and choices farmers can make to limit their impact.

Local Land Services staff will discuss how much locusts can consume in dry sheep equivalents, the crops and pastures they prefer, locust impact during various growth stages and options to sow early or late.

The locust cropping workshops will be held at the Condobolin RSL Club on Wednesday, March 25, after the 9am-12.30pm native vegetation information session, and; at the Lake Cargelligo Bowling Club, March 25 from 4pm. To RSVP to these events or find out more contact Alicia Whiley on 0458 717 922 or Catie Guise 0429 982 197.

Locust updates will also be given as part of the upcoming native vegetation information session at the Forbes Services Memorial Club on Tuesday March 24, 9am-12.30pm (RSVP: Matt Lane 02 6881 3406) and at the Dubbo RSL on Thursday, March 26, 9am-12.30pm (RSVP: Matt Lane 02 6881 3406).

Source: Central West Local Land Services

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