Maharashtra agriculture university suggests ways to tackle the locust outbreak - Agrovista Profits Latest Agriculture News and Updates


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Friday, May 29, 2020

Maharashtra agriculture university suggests ways to tackle the locust outbreak

As parts of Maharashtra and other states face attacks from locusts, which destroy crops and vegetation, and agriculture university has suggested a slew of measures like destroying their eggs and spraying neem oil on crops to tackle the threat from the migratory pests.
Swarms of crop-eating locusts have spread across Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The fast-moving insects entered parts of Vidarbha in eastern Maharashtra earlier in the week.

Locusts crossed into Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh from eastern Maharashtra on Thursday afternoon, a senior Department of Agriculture official had said.

Earlier on Thursday, officials had said the swarms were moving eastwards, towards Gondia district of Maharashtra after entering Bhandara from Nagpur district on Wednesday.

The Vasantrao Naik Agriculture University at Parbhani in Marathwada said threat from swarms of locusts destroying crops and travelling long distances in search of food are often tackled by undertaking certain measures.

Destroying their eggs, digging trenches of a selected size and spraying neem oil on standing crops are a number of the effective methods to tackle the menace caused by locusts (schistocerca gregaria), it said during a statement.

The department of agricultural entomology of the university published a group of guidelines on Thursday for farmers during this regard.

"Female locusts lay 50 to 100 eggs in moist sandy land. The hatching period of those eggs depends on environment and should stretch from two to four weeks. Larvae cannot fly immediately once they begin ," the varsity said.

The university suggested destroying those eggs in groups.
Farmers can dig trenches during a size of 60 centimetres wide and 75 centimeters deep which may help to catch small locusts from the flock, it said. According to university experts, larvae once they grow and begin flying in groups, can destroy leaves, branches, flowers and seeds.Adult locusts can eat food like their weight and may fly with a speed starting from 12 to 16 km per hour, they said.

"If a swarm of locusts is in one square km area, their weight is often up to 3000 quintals. Their flocks are often neutralised during already dark (which is their resting time) with the assistance of smoke. "But farmers got to be very careful and ensure their crops don't erupt," the university said. Spraying 2.5 litres of neem oil per hectare has also proved effective in controlling swarms of locusts

Source; PTI

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