South Africa: Farmers warned to guard against locusts (Dispatch Now 24/7, BuaNews)

| January 19, 2009

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Swarms of locusts are darkening skies and devouring crops in South Africa’s Eastern and Northern Cape provinces.

The infestation was first reported by a farmer in the Ukhahlamba District of Eastern Cape province, who alerted the Department of Agriculture after locusts destroyed his lucerne.

Locust swarms about five kilometres wide travelled northwest from Ukhahlamba to Whittlesea, near Queenstown, Eastern Cape, destroying crops in their path.

Lumkile Ngada is a research manager for the Department of Agriculture. He says the Department is spraying pheromones and insecticides to control the infestation.

Farmers in Northern Cape province are being warned that locusts may be heading their way. Farmers should keep an eye out for swarms or locust breeding activity, and report it to the Department of Agriculture’s locust extermination teams.