Following interaction with the South African Resource Conservation Directorate of the Department of Agriculture, South African farmers, authorities in Namibia and other resources, CropLife SA can confirm that there is a brown locust (Locustana pardalina) outbreak in Namibia and the Karoo region of South Africa, specifically in the De Aar area.
CropLife SA would like to emphasise that this outbreak is not in any way linked to the massive outbreak of desert locust (Schistocerca gregarial) in East Africa. However, the brown locust may become a major pest during sporadic outbreaks, which usually occur as a result of conducive climatic conditions. Outbreaks often originate in areas such as southern Namibia, Botswana and the Karoo.
Important to know
There are currently at least six pesticides registered for locust control in South Africa. These products are already available in emergency volumes, with the main locust depot in De Aar having ample supply of approved pesticides on hand.
To prevent the development of flying swarms, the aim is to control the locust outbreak shortly after hatching or when the locusts are still in the so-called hopper stage.
Anyone who notices locust outbreaks on their farms or in their area are encouraged to supply location information and photographs of the outbreak to CropLifeSA. Local agricultural departments and resource conservation centres in De Aar and Upington should also be informed.
CropLife SA is confident that the Resource Conservation Directorate of the Department of Agriculture is capable of efficiently managing the locust situation in South Africa in an ecologically sensible manner.
All parties are encouraged to remain vigilant, but also to remain calm as locust control teams have the necessary tools to respond to this outbreak timeously.