THE Agriculture Department in WA is calling on landholders to re-check their properties and report a

11 Jan, 2007 07:00 PM

Agriculture Department locust incident manager Simon Merewether said despite the success of the 2006 locust control program, the unseasonal summer rainfall had enabled some of the remaining locust populations to survive and lay new egg beds.

³Normally with the hot dry conditions of summer, remaining locust populations and egg beds would die off quickly,² he said.

³However, the unseasonal rainfall and cooler conditions currently being experienced have been ideal for locust survival and new hatchings are predicted, mainly in the south of the state.²

Mr Merewether said the areas of particular concern were the shires of Plantagenet, Ravens-thorpe and Cranbrook. Properties in Kojonup and Jerramungup are also under threat while the Agriculture Department has also called on landholders in the central Wheatbelt to be vigilant about monitoring their properties.

Mr Merewether said it was important for landholders to provide the Agriculture Department with as much information as possible to generate an accurate forecast on locust activity.

Agricultural Department entomologist Kevin Walden said he could not rule out the possibility that re-spraying would be requi-red on some of the land that had already been treated, to protect it from locust damage this season.

³Re-spraying is a long way off and we will make that decision when we come to it, but the idea of monitoring is to work out what¹s happening,² Mr Walden said.

³Over the next few weeks we will gather the details and gauge what is happening then look closely at what needs to be done.²

The Agriculture Department completed spraying about 900,000ha of land in the Wheatbelt, prior to Christmas.


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