Locust infestation rate extremely low this year: survey – Pakistan

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SLAMABAD: The results of a two-year integrated testing of spring locust breeding grounds in Pakistan and Iran found that the locust infestation rate was significantly lower in this year’s test – an average of 1.4pc compared to 60pc in the last combined test in 2019.

In Pakistan, the percentage for 2022 is 1.4pc compared to 34pc in 2019, according to a report by a joint locust survey, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, on Wednesday.

The results of a combined test indicate that this year’s spring fertility is severely limited due to unusual rainfall and adverse environmental conditions.

As a result, there is no threat at all in summer breeding grounds on the Indo-Pakistan border this year, and the situation should remain calm throughout the region for the rest of the year.

The Pakistan locust testing team tested 291 stops on the 7,665km road in Balochistan and surveyed an estimated 59,320 hectares, while in Iran, 192 stops were tested along the 9,328kms road and inspected an estimated 10,320 hectares . .

Therefore, a total of 483 total stops were tested on land along 16,993km, considering an estimated 70,200 hectares on both sides of the border.

The FAO report states that ecological conditions have not been found to be suitable for locust production in any country. Only low numbers of independent adults and a few independent hoppers have been observed in the five coastal areas of southeastern Iran and four places in southwestern Pakistan. As conditions were dry, a greater distance and higher number of stops could be reached during this year’s test compared to the previous joint test, the report said.

In Pakistan, vegetation and soil moisture were found to be dry at all research sites. Low concentrations of adults and adults alone were observed in four areas in the Jiwani and Kolanch Valley areas.

Only low density and transiens hoppers were observed in one place. Low density hoppers and flags are also seen in the Kocho (Kolanch Valley) area.

The fact that there were a few late hoppers in Jiwani and Kolanch Valley suggests that there was some rain in January or early February to allow egg laying to take place from the last week of February to mid-March.

Due to this hatching, hatching may begin in the second week of March and continue until the end of the month.

Published on Parhlo, May 12, 2022

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