Panama on alert for possible Central American locust infestation
10 de julio de 2020, 12:16
Panama, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) Farmers in Panama are currently on alert for the possible arrival of a Central American locust plague (Schistocerca piceifrons piceifrons), a migratory species of grasshopper that destroys the foliage of crops within hours.
The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) began training technical personnel to identify and implement immediate control of the scourge, which could reach the territory of the border provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro from neighboring Costa Rica.
MIDA's Plant Health Director, Olegh Aguilar, explained to the press that the technicians must master the elements necessary to manage the biology, pest patterns and life cycle of these insects, so that they can immediately recognize their presence and behavior.
The International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA), based in El Salvador, issued an alert for the region to increase phytosanitary surveillance to detect outbreaks and carry out timely controls of this pest, mainly for the first generation that began with the May rains and would last until next September.
This will prevent the birth of the second generation and that it does not present an exponential growth, warned Oirsa, who suggested sampling in lands adjacent to floods, because the rains could displace the insect colonies.
The Central American locust migrates more than 150 km per day, with a voracity that allows each bird to consume 70 to 100 percent of its two-gram weight per day, so a swarm of 80 million would eat about 100 tons of green food per day, over an area of one square kilometer.
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