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Locusts destroy crops in Las Cruces, Petén, alarm farmers #543502
07/14/20 12:41 PM
07/14/20 12:41 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,224
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Farmers in Belize are monitoring the situation in neighboring Guatemala and Mexico.

Farmers in Las Cruces, Petén in Guatemala are concerned that their crops have already been invaded by thousands of Central American locusts, whose voracity puts at risk corn, bean, sugar cane, chili, tomato, citrus, banana, coconut, mango and grassland plantations.

According to farmers in the area, since Friday, July 10, large numbers of insects have invaded cultivation fields, mainly corn and grasslands, putting the production of basic grains and livestock feed at risk, the two main residents' sources of income.

The swam of locusts was recently spotted about seventy miles from the Western Border.

We are told that locusts are also affecting fields in northern Honduras and southern Yucatan.

Channel 5

Re: Locusts destroy crops in Las Cruces, Petén, alarm farmers [Re: Marty] #543514
07/15/20 05:42 AM
07/15/20 05:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,224
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Agriculture Sector Threatened by Swarm of Locusts

In the west, locusts ravaging farmlands in Peten, Guatemala are near the border. They are about seventy miles away and making their way across Central America.  In Guatemala, Prensa Libre is reporting that since Friday ‘large amounts of locusts have invaded cultivated fields, mainly corn and grasslands, putting the production of basic grains and livestock feed at risk. It’s just a matter of days or even hours before the swarm of locusts arrive on Belizean farmlands. Area Representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Abelardo Mai says this spells death for the country’s already weakened agriculture industry.

Jose Abelardo Mai, Area Representative, Orange Walk South

“This would be the last shot to kill the industry. These animals what we locally know as crickets worldwide they are known as locust. These animals weigh two grams and they can consume hundred percent of their body weight daily.  A cloud of eight million locusts would devour hundred tons of leaves in one day. Everything that is green would disappear.”

Hipolito Novelo 

“What can the farmers do?”

Jose Abelardo Mai

“Well there is not much we can do in Belize. We have to understand the life cycle of these locusts, their habit migrating. The first thing we need to do is monitoring and surveillance. We need to report if there are any swarms in the area. To be honest in order parts of the world in other parts of the country they use insecticide with airplanes but at this time what you call outbreak and they move in huge clouds so it is very difficult to control.”

“Everything that is green is at risk right now”

Organization for Plant and Animal Health has issued an alert to all member countries including Belize saying that the plague of the Central American locust has caused serious economic damage due to its invasions for centuries. OIRSA says that experts are predicting that due to environmental conditions and biological cycles of this species, high risks locust outbreaks are expected to occur between the years 2020 and 2022, which could greatly affect regional agriculture.

Jose Abelardo Mai, Area Representative for OW South

“Everything that is green is at risk right now. Right now we have the corn is about three feet tall. The rains help it a lot. Everything is green and beautiful right now. We are hoping a good crop this year so farmers can come out from the indebtedness they are in but if this ever comes in we can forget that. These animals migrate a hundred and fifty kilometers per day. You will have them here in quite a short while. So we just have to hope and pray that they don’t finish damage our agriculture sector.”

Channel 5

Re: Locusts destroy crops in Las Cruces, Petén, alarm farmers [Re: Marty] #543519
07/15/20 06:24 AM
07/15/20 06:24 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,224
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Central American Locust Poses Threat For Belizean Farmers

Re: Locusts destroy crops in Las Cruces, Petén, alarm farmers [Re: Marty] #543544
07/16/20 05:40 AM
07/16/20 05:40 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,224
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Here are some interviews contributed by Belize Yucatec Maya on the locust natural phenomenon in Belize many years ago.

"Many years ago alot of locusts came and at all our crops and all our milpas. We had no food except for pumpkin" Daniel Cawich (Yucatec Maya elder of San Pablo, Orange Walk)

"It happened years ago, here in Belize. The grasshopper ate all in its path but primarily corn and orange leaves. It lasted like a month. After that month, they left but also left behind a lot of eggs which started to hatch. My great grandfather said that the eggs started to hatch and the villagers dug holes and with wanu (thatch) leaves they use to sweep them inside the holes and burn the locusts. My great grandfather told my dad that the locusts even tried to eat the thatch leaves from their homes. It was very sad for farmers and it happened during a hot summer time." - Jonathan Samos

"Yes - the last plague of locust did not happen too long because my grandma told me the story about the plague de chapulines that came just after one of the hurricanes, Hattie or Janet - can't recall but she told me that it was very sad because some casa de huano that was not destroyed by the hurricane the chapulines came and ate it all...leaving only the chilibitos." - Tilo Olivarez

Re: Locusts destroy crops in Las Cruces, Petén, alarm farmers [Re: Marty] #543609
07/20/20 04:35 AM
07/20/20 04:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,224
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Mexico prepares for the arrival of a swarm of locusts that could destroy crops

As though the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been challenging enough to Mexico, now comes a new threat that worries authorities and citizens: a large swarm of locusts moves over Belize and could be heading towards the southeast of Mexico in the next few days.

This was explained Friday by the Plant Health Committee of Quintana Roo (Cesaveqroo), according to information from the newspaper El Financiero. The agency detailed that the pest could devour up to 400 plant species, and destroy crops of corn, beans, rice, soybeans, peanuts, sugar cane, chili, tomato, citrus, banana, coconut, and grassland, among others.

The insects, which move over Belize in swarms, will affect Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula. Although the secretariats of the state governments have not yet announced the strategy that they will implement to prevent these swarms from destroying thousands of hectares, the National Service for Health, Safety and Agro-Food Quality (Senasica) is carrying out a permanent phytosanitary campaign to control the presence and expansion insect in the Mexican territory.

According to the agency’s information, monitoring is carried out in Campeche, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Yucatán. And it consists of three strategic actions: exploration, sampling and control.

“The objective of the exploration is to detect locust populations and consists of making walking tours in the main gregarious areas with the support of cutting-edge technology, which includes the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones and a specific mobile application “, explains Senasica.

Once a population is located, the technicians continue the work of the second level.

“When any population is detected, sampling is carried out in order to determine the average population density (number of locusts / m2) and subsequently define the most appropriate control method.”

To exterminate the pest, two control techniques are carried out: chemical or biological. The first is done through the application of recommended products, such as methyl parathion, Fipronil, Malation, Cypermethrin, Z-Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, and Diflubenzuron. For its part, the biological consists of the use of entomopathogenic fungus diluted in oil.

In addition to Senasica’s operational strategy against locust, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader) allocated 25 million pesos this year to the campaign against the insect, in order to protect 58 million tons of food per year, worth 70 billion pesos.

The Central American flying locust can wipe out acres of crops and entire grasslands. With tourism dying, the blow of this plague to the primary sector of Yucatan or Quintana Roo could be devastating.

The insect, which can be 6.5 centimeters long and travels at a speed of approximately 200 kilometers per hour, is capable of feeding on up to 400 different species of plants. In Mexico, their favorite crops are corn, sugar cane, and beans.

If their reproduction is not controlled, the insect can form “sides and sleeves that cover from meters to square kilometers”, and travel long distances.

Although in recent years in Mexico, the phytosanitary actions promoted by Senasica have prevented them from destroying vegetation surfaces, grasslands, and crops, between the second half of 2020 and the middle of 2022 the environmental conditions and biological cycles of the species are expected to provoke new outbreaks. In addition to those swarms that can come from neighboring countries.

Puerto Vallarta Daily News

Re: Locusts destroy crops in Las Cruces, Petén, alarm farmers [Re: Marty] #543627
07/21/20 04:56 AM
07/21/20 04:56 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,224
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Locust scare puts BAHA on the watch

Since mid-July, farmers in Belize have been on the alert for a possible invasion of locusts after swarms of the insect were reported to have been feeding on crops in parts of Guatemala, including the Peten District, which is not far from Belize.

The Director of Plant Health at the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA), Francisco Gutierrez, told us that to date, Monday, July 20, 2020, it has been just a scare, but they are still monitoring the fields.

Mr. Gutierrez said that there was one localized infestation — about a quarter of an acre — on the perimeter of a corn field in the Yalbac/Spanish Lookout area in the Cayo District. Farmers spot-sprayed the section with a pyrethroid insecticide (Lambda-cyhalotrin) to prevent the insect from further damaging their crops.

There are many species of locusts in the Americas, but most of them do not pose major threats to crops. Mr. Gutierrez said that the species that does the most damage in our area is the Central American locust, and its preferred habitat is the drier regions along the Pacific Coast.

Swarms of locusts are not uncommon in our region, but it is on the African continent that species of the insect are known to cause massive devastation. Locusts prefer to feed and lay their eggs in grassy areas; when they swarm, they are not selective about what they feed on.

An explosion in the locust population usually occurs after a drought period followed by rapid vegetative growth.


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