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Farmers in the Hertzogville and Boshof area in the Western Free State were over the weekend greeted by a dark cloud of locusts when a large swarm blew over from the Northern Cape.
Dr Jack Armour, commercial manager at Free State Agriculture (FSA), confirms that after liaising with the HOD Department of Agriculture, Dr Masiteng and the Manager of Disaster management in the Free State, Mr Mafa Moqhaka, the local locust control team leaders were confirmed to assist in the relevant areas as controlling migrating pests falls under the Department.
Armour advises farmers to act as follows when noticing swarms:
- Farmers should monitor the swarms and let their neighbour know in which direction they are moving. Also let the local locust officer / team leader know with a pin drop and photo to keep them updated
- The location pin must be passed on to your local team leader / locust officer at arrond 16:00 to get the teams mobilized to that location.
- At around 18:00-19:30 when the locusts are settling down for the night, the GPS coordinate / Pin Drop of the final position must be passed onto the relevant officer. They will then spray during the night or early the next morning while the locusts are stationary.
- Where locusts are sprayed on the ground during the night, there is a 2 week withdrawal period for animals.
Armour says that farmers can contact the Locust Control team leaders confirmed to assist in the relevant areas:
– Hennie Grobbelaar – 0734455430 – Luckhoff and nearby areas
– Joggie Du Plessis – 0829265660 – Vanderkloof areas
– George de Vos – 0724954133 – Phillipolis and surrounds
– Ronnie Cawood – 0824687650 – Ghaap area, Boshof and nearby areas
If any members of the public observe large locust swarms in the Free State, please send a photo and location pin to dr Armour at firstname.lastname@example.org