Significant spring locust activity is expected in parts of the eastern Wheatbelt and southern agricultural region, which may result in locust bands and loose swarms. Variable hatchings are also likely to occur in other parts of the southern agricultural region and Wheatbelt.
Landholders are reminded to inspect their properties for locust activity and start preparing for control if necessary to protect their assets, including crops and pastures.
The Australian Plague Locust (APL) 2016 Assistance Scheme is now available to support landholders to control populations of locusts and protect their assets.
The Scheme is available to landholders and Local Government Authorities that manage land within nine shires identified as having an increased risk of APL activity in spring/summer 2016.
A State Government contribution of $5 per hectare is open to landholders seeking to control locusts in pasture, crop, fallow, greenbelts or where locusts are on public amenities, such as ovals, through spraying with a suitable insecticide, within Ravensthorpe, Jerramungup, Gnowangerup, Lake Grace, Kulin, Yilgarn, Westonia, Mukinbudin and Nungarin shires
In order to access the Assistance Scheme, landholders will be required to provide the following documentation to demonstrate financial accountability in making a claim:
- A map identifying the number of hectares and area treated,
- A tax invoice or statement proving the purchase of insecticide and/or a tax invoice or statement proving that a contractor has been engaged, and
- Track logs of the area treated to confirm application.
Any application for $10,000 (2,000ha) or more will require verification by the Department. Photographs or videos may also be uploaded as further evidence of application. The department will also undertake a level of accountability compliance inspection.
Variable hatchings are also likely to occur in other parts of the southern agriculture region and Wheatbelt. The scheme may be extended to additional shires if department survey teams identify other areas experiencing a high level of activity.
The scheme will be available for control activities up to 31 Dec 2016 and applications can be made up to 31 Jan 2017 via the department.
Further information on the scheme, including the guidelines and application details, are available from the department website www.agric.wa.gov.au/locusts or by contacting freecall 1800 198 231.
Thanks to C.Hadlow for supplying the information for this article