THE Agriculture Protection Board (APB) and Agriculture WA are claiming success in the battle with plague locusts. The intensive campaign waged in the past three months is about to be scaled down. Executive director of agriculture protection Rob Delane said the $8.5 million locust control program had been extremely successful in controlling the most advanced and high-density populations. "Low density populations of flying locusts will be evident in coming weeks in most of the agricultural region," he said. "However, our field officers have reported relatively few flying locusts in most areas and their overall impact is expected to be low. "The outbreak has proved to be at least twice as big as the 1990 locust plague, but the public may not find it as spectacular because the control campaign has successfully stopped the high-density swarms from developing." Locust control measures have been conducted in 30 shires, with Agwest contractors treating 277,000 hectares of locust infestations and issuing insecticide for landholder spraying of a further 110,000ha. When completed, the control program will have covered over 500,000ha of agricultural land. Spraying is now complete in most shires in the eastern and central Wheatbelt areas and in most of the Esperance region. The program is continuing in the coming week in the western and south-western areas, including the Gnowangerup and Kent shires.