Locust recording goes digital in Western NSW
12 September 2016
Plague locust inspections have gone digital here in western NSW, with the advent of a new iPad-based reporting system for use in the paddock.
“Excellent spring rainfall following a wet winter has resulted in the best seasonal conditions we’ve experienced since 2011,” said Local Land Services Western Region Manager of Biosecurity and Emergency Services, David Creeper.
“While the excellent season is good news for landholders, it also provides the food source for locusts to start building their populations as the weather warms up.
“To reduce the impact of locusts over this period it is vital to monitor the landscape for signs of activity, and where necessary to report signs of egg hatching or hoppers that are forming into bands."
David said recording this information is going to be a whole lot easier this year as Local Land Services Western Region and the Australian Plague locust Commission will be using iPads to record infestations in the field.
“The NSW Department of Primary Industries has developed special new software to streamline the process of recording information about infestations and sharing that with agencies across the state,” David said.
Both Local Land Services and Australian Plague Locust Commission staff received training in the new technology from NSW DPI Emergency Services at a training day held in Broken Hill.
“We were shown how to record information in the field and how to upload the data to the NSW DPI website for evaluation.”
David Creeper believes the new technology will speed up the process of recording and sharing information about plague locust activity, and that should result in a quicker and better coordinated response aimed at reducing the damage locusts can cause before they’re brought under control.
If you spot locusts on your property, contact your nearest Local Land Services office.
Media contact: Meg Strang 0429 340 600