Argentina + 2 more

GIEWS Update: South America: Outbreaks of locusts could threaten wheat and barley crops in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay

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Situation Report
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Highlights:

• In late May 2020, a locust outbreak was reported in northeastern provinces of Formosa, Santa Fé and Corrientes in Argentina. Crop and pasture losses have been limited due to the implementation of effective control measures.

• If swarms move to key producing areas of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, they could threaten the main 2020 winter wheat and barley crops that will be harvested in the last quarter of the year.

• Intensification of surveillance and treatment activities are required to contain the situation and avoid significant crop losses.

The locust: One of the most dangerous insect pest for crops and pastures

The locust "Schistocerca cancellata" is a species of grasshopper belonging to the subfamily "Cyrtacanthacridinae". Locusts differ from grasshoppers in their ability to change from a solitary living form into gregarious, highly mobile, hopper bands (young wingless locust nymphs moving together) and adult swarms as their numbers and densities increase. Large swarms, which can contain up to 40 million locusts in 1 km2 , have the ability to eat the same amount of food consumed by 35 000 people or 2 000 cows in a single day.