Concerned about a locust cloud entering Brazilian territory from Argentina and harming producers in South Brazil, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply has devised guidelines to be implemented in case the plague of the Schistocerca cancellata reaches Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, Brazilian states on the border with Argentina and Uruguay.
Measures include general recommendations on pesticide use as well as mechanisms for the control of pesticide distribution, trade, and use.
Tables have been released with recommendations on the use and dosing of biological insecticide based on Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, as well as application intervals, residue limits, and maximum amounts of the active ingredients to be used to tackle the plague.
Also included is the creation of channels for the exchange of information on plague identification in Brazilian territory, with a view to issuing phytosanitary warnings and the monitoring of “plague characteristics and population levels,” as well as special strategies based on different plague development phases.
In recent days, millions of locusts invaded cities and farms in parts of Argentina, forming enormous clouds. Even though they do not pose a direct threat to human beings, they can cause economic damage by devouring crops in a matter of hours.
Even though the phenomenon was brought under the international spotlight when it already threatened to cross national borders between Brazil and Argentina, it was nor formed overnight.
Since 2015, Argentine specialists have studied the accelerated growth of this population, especially of the species Schistocerca cancellata, also known as the South American migratory locust.