APLC locust control operations
Locust control by the Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC) is part of a national cost-shared response program of monitoring, forecasting, research and control to reduce the impact of major outbreaks on agriculture. Locust control in eastern Australia is the joint responsibility of stakeholders - local landholders, regional bodies, state agriculture agencies and the APLC each playing a role at the appropriate local, regional and interstate scale. The level of activity of each of the stakeholders will vary depending on the location and magnitude of the infestations, and all sectors may be involved during very large outbreaks. Specific landholder responsibilities regarding locust reporting and control may be laid down in relevant state legislation.
The APLC only undertakes aerial control against substantial targets of locust bands and swarms, where these represent a threat to agriculture in more than on member state. APLC control is largely confined to its area of operations, as defined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) negotiated between the federal and member state governments. The control agents currently used are fenitrothion, fipronil and Metarhizium. Locust control by the APLC is not intended to provide protection to individual crops or properties. APLC locust control follows the principle of population intervention, where control is applied during a build-up of a population, which might otherwise have a significant impact on Australian agriculture as a result of further breeding or migration.
During times of locust control the APLC issues regular Locust management advice which gives an update of areas where control is about to or has recently taken place, the insecticides used and the amount sprayed. The APLC will always consult with affected landholders before it implements any locust control and will obtain informed landholder consent prior to the application of any locust control agents.