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Australia Braces for Locust Outbreak

Australian agriculture has been bracing itself for plagues of locusts which are expected to hatch in the antipodean Spring, which occurs from late September through October.

Good soil moisture in autumn and winter is expected to lead to significant hatchings and a much higher number than usual of locusts reaching maturity.

The Australian Plague Locust Commission treated over 200,000 hectares of land from the air in north-western NSW in March 2010, destroying an estimated eight billion locusts.

A serious widespread nymph infestation is expected in New South Wales, northern Victoria and eastern South Australia during spring. The plague situation, where numerous regions across several member states are affected by high densities of locusts, could continue during spring and summer if there is a high level of nymphal survival in spring.

The Australian Parliament was briefed by the Head of the Australian Plague Locust Commission, Chris Adriaansen, on the preparations being made to combat locusts in the coming Spring.

Australian Plague Locust (courtesy Dept Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry)

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