WITH recent reports of grasshoppers sweeping areas of western Queensland in plague proportions, a chemical treatment has been approved for emergency use on pastures of the state’s Mitchell grass region.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority today issued an Emergency Use Permit for the use of chemical products containing fenitrothion as a control option for grasshoppers in the area.
The permit will allow landholders to legally use the specified chemical in accordance with the approved use instructions on the permit and product labels, noting it is a legal obligation to follow the permit and label instructions. Both aerial and ground applications are accounted for.
The control of grasshoppers is the responsibility of individual landholders.
Affected landholders will need to carefully assess the benefit, risks and cost of applying the chemical, taking into account the direct cost of the chemical. (See table below for application guidelines including buffer distances).
The Department of Agriculture has established a Grasshopper Working Group, including the Australian Plague Locust Commission and National Drought and Flood Agency, in response to the grasshopper populations in 13 shires across western Queensland.
The group will ensure landholders have access to consistent grasshopper information, as well as legal access to chemical control options, and planning actions and research to assist with prediction and management.
The group has made a second Emergency Use Permit application to the APVMA for an additional chemical control option for grasshoppers, using products containing fipronil as the active constituent.
While there is considerable knowledge about the biology of plague locusts, there is still much to be learnt about the ecology and biology of the grasshoppers currently infesting western Queensland.
To help support research into the grasshoppers and assess the extent of damage, landholders are encouraged to complete the 2021 grasshopper impact survey.
Landholders are also encouraged to collect photos of grasshoppers on their property and report sightings to DAF on 13 25 23 or to their local DAF officer.
Witholding permits and export slaughter intervals apply. For more information visit the APVMA website and search for fenitrothion.
Do not apply within the following distances to sensitive areas including but not limited to natural streams, rivers, waterways, human dwelling or neighbouring properties.
Witholding permits and export slaughter intervals apply to this use.