Alert: Brown locust (Locustana pardalina) outbreak in South Africa

Following interaction with the South African Resource Conservation Directorate of the Department of Agriculture, South African farmers, authorities in Namibia and other resources, CropLife SA can confirm that there is an outbreak of brown locusts (Locustana pardalina) in Namibia and the Karoo region of South Africa, specifically in the De Aar area.

CropLife SA would like to confirm the following points:

  • This outbreak is not in any way linked to the massive outbreak of desert locust (Schistocerca gregarial) in East Africa
    • the brown locust in South Africa is a locust that becomes a major pest when there are sporadic outbreaks, as a result of conducive climatic conditions, with outbreaks often originating in areas such as southern Namibia, middle Botswana and the Karoo itself
  • There are currently at least six pesticides registered for locust control in South Africa
  • The currently registered pesticides are already available in emergency volumes with the main locust depot in De Aar having ample supply of approved pesticides on hand
  • The aim is to control the locust outbreak soon after hatching of individuals or when the locusts are still in the so-called hopper stage and to prevent the development of flying swarms
  • Many Karoo farmers are already primed to provide information on the status of the outbreak
    • any person who notices locust outbreaks on their farms or in their area are encouraged to supply location information and photos of the outbreak to the CropLife SA emergency number via WhatsApp 082 446 8946
    • local agricultural departments and resource conservation centres in De Aar and Upington should also be informed
  • CropLife SA is confident that the Resource Conservation Directorate of the Department of Agriculture is capable of effectively managing the locust situation in South Africa in an ecologically sensible manner.

Based on the above, CropLife SA encourages all parties to remain vigilant, but also to remain calm as we believe the locust control teams of the Resource Conservation Department have the necessary tools at hand to respond to this outbreak in the Karoo timeously.

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