A $50 million investment in plague locust control measures last summer helped to prevent more than $950 million in potential crop and pasture losses, a Federal Government report has found.
The Australia Bureau of Resource Economics and Sciences under took a cost-benefit analysis of Government funded plague locust control operations earlier this year.
It found that for every one dollar spent by Australian and State Government agencies, an average of $19 of crop and pasture losses were avoided.
Work overseen by the Australian Plague Locust Commission in unison with federal and state agencies and landholders has been credited with warding off a potentially damaging locus season this summer and autumn.
Federal minister for agriculture Joe Ludwig said this year’s forecast for locust populations is looking positive thanks to the vigilance of Government staff and farmers.
“This time last year, we feared that the Australian plague locust season would be the worst in 70 years, with a record number of eggs laid,” Mr Ludwig said.
“Fortunately this year the spring locust populations are much smaller and the forecast is that they are unlikely to produce a significant swarm infestation in any region this summer, with only small localised populations in minor areas of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.”
The APLC manages populations of three defined locust pest species in situations where populations have the potential to inflict significant damage to agricultural industries in more than one member state – Queensland, News South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It also undertakes a wide range of other works, including survey and monitoring, control and research.