Locust swarming in Africa & Middle East

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
4,140
Reaction score
6,538
Location
Shreveport, Louisiana
Media
237
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Canada, New Zealand, Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY
If COVID-19 wasn't enough, East Africa and the Middle East is now dealing with locust.

https://www.accuweather.com/en/busi...ca-and-the-middle-east-means-to-the-us/704525

What the massive locust swarm in Africa and the Middle East means to the US
By John Roach, AccuWeather staff writer

Updated Mar. 23, 2020 6:23 AM
Farmers in South Sudan are trying to save this year’s crop and avoid a food shortage for parts of Africa due to huge swarms of locusts.

Amid worldwide concerns over the new coronavirus, an age-old but now “extremely alarming” problem is developing in several countries that represents “an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods” as the start of growing season approaches for these parts of the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

New swarms of locusts are forming in the Horn of Africa, with Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia specifically most at risk. Swarms are also forming in Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and India. The FAO has requested $138 million to help control the situation, to protect farmers’ livelihoods and to help those affected.

The weather initiated the crisis. In 2018, cyclones from the Indian Ocean hit the Arabian Peninsula near the borders of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman and warm weather at the end of 2019, combined with unusually heavy rains, created the ideal conditions for the locusts.

“When you have rains associated with cyclones, they’re much stronger than normal,” Keith Cressman, the FAO’s senior locust-forecasting officer told New York Magazine. “When those rains fall in desert areas with sandy soil, that will flood the soil. Once those floods recede, the soil retains so much moisture that it allows desert locust females to lay their eggs probably for a period of around six months.”

200302forecast.jpg

Source: UN's Food and Agriculture Organization

The locusts spread rapidly and national emergencies have been declared in Pakistan, Jordan and Somalia. More than 140,000 acres of crops have been damaged in Pakistan alone since last April.

The United States cotton industry may benefit as a result of the tragedy because countries like Pakistan will need to rely on imports rather than their own production. The textile industry is Pakistan’s biggest employer and generates 60 percent of its exports. Because of the locusts, the country is expected to fall 25 to 30 percent short of its targeted production goal for cotton.

This is the worst locust attack we have seen since 1993,” Falak Naz, director general of crop production at Pakistan’s Ministry of Food Security, told Bloomberg News.

AP_20040290012829.jpg

In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, young desert locusts that have not yet grown wings jump in the air as they are approached, as a visiting delegation from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) observes them, in the desert near Garowe, in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

“Cotton is critical to Pakistan’s economy,” said AccuWeather consultant Jim Candor, a long-time meteorologist. “Last year, U.S. cotton exports to Pakistan were $618 million, or about 10 percent of total U.S. cotton exports. Pakistan imported 40 percent of the cotton it needed – 39 percent of which came from the U.S. If Pakistan has a bad year of cotton production, then they would obviously need to import that much more – there is a good chance the U.S. could be the source of much of the additional cotton.”

The FAO forecast for the locust swarm from March through June 2020 includes increases of up to 400 percent in some locations on the Horn of Africa during the time period (see map). This is particularly problematic for areas unaccustomed to handling locust infestations, such as Kenya, which has encountered locust swarms just twice in the last 70 years.

The weather could also play a role in ending the locust swarms. Most immediately, insecticides are used to kill the locusts, but a failure of the seasonal rains could assist. “That’s usually how mother nature helps to bring these things under control,” Cressman told New York Magazine. “[Also] sometimes the winds will push locusts into areas they just don’t want to be in, … cold areas where they would die, or areas that are very tropical where they would pick up a lot of pathogens and die.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP

For certain areas, locust infestations are not unusual. In 2013, a massive swarm hit Egypt and the Middle East and in 2004, locusts in Africa and the Middle East cost $400 million as well as harvest losses of $2.5 billion, according to the FAO.

“It’s a summer thing during the growing season,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

Could a locust infestation occur in the U.S.? Not likely these days, although locusts decimated American farmers in the past. “The chances of this happening today are much smaller,” Nicholls said. “There are modern means of controlling it – pesticides and so much technology.”

200317updateE.jpg

Source: UN's Food and Agriculture Organization

However, during the 1800s, Rocky Mountain locust swarms periodically destroyed U.S. crop fields. Within a short span of hours, locust swarms could blow in and devour everything a farmer had -- crops, fabric, clothing and more, according to a Farm Progress story.

In fact, in 1875, the largest locust cloud in world history was recorded over the Midwest, according to Jeffrey Lockwood’s book “Locust.” It covered 198,000 square miles -- larger than all of California -- and was estimated to contain several trillion locusts and perhaps weighed several million tons.
 

Attachments

  • 200302forecast.jpg
    200302forecast.jpg
    57.8 KB · Views: 19
  • AP_20040290012829.jpg
    AP_20040290012829.jpg
    100.6 KB · Views: 20
  • 200317updateE.jpg
    200317updateE.jpg
    74.1 KB · Views: 16
Last edited by a moderator:

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,913
Reaction score
8,314
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
4
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Lots of protein flying around! As a kid when we use to burn our fields, we would walk through them picking up roasted grasshoppers and snack on them.
In this day and time you would think we would have pesticides that could control this. Maybe they don’t have access to it?
 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,493
Reaction score
11,849
Media
258
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
Lots of protein flying around! As a kid when we use to burn our fields, we would walk through them picking up roasted grasshoppers and snack on them.
In this day and time you would think we would have pesticides that could control this. Maybe they don’t have access to it?

$$$$$ wanting western money to pay for it.$$$$$$$$
 

sgt_zim

AH elite
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
1,696
Reaction score
3,025
Location
Richmond, Texas
Media
18
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
Hunted
Texas, Louisiana
Lots of protein flying around! As a kid when we use to burn our fields, we would walk through them picking up roasted grasshoppers and snack on them.
In this day and time you would think we would have pesticides that could control this. Maybe they don’t have access to it?

At this scale, it wouldn't be cheap. But, you also wouldn't need to kill ALL of them, just put a big dent in them. Easiest thing would probably be a couple of Ag Cats or similar. Any of the 3rd/4th gen permethrin analogs would probably work.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,674
Messages
720,360
Members
67,404
Latest member
Lisette667
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
Rickmt wrote on Leica Sport Optics's profile.
will Leica Amplus 6-2.5x15x50 fit on a pro success Blaser with low mount?
 
Top