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Approved chemical treatment of grasshoppers

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Two chemical treatments have now been approved for use in central-western and north-western Queensland as part of efforts to address the widespread problem of large grasshopper numbers.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has issued Emergency Use Permits for the use of chemical products containing fenitrothion, and chemical products containing fipronil. The permits allow landholders in the Mitchell Grass bioregion to legally use the specified chemical in accordance with the approved use instructions on the permits and product labels.

Witholding permits and export slaughter intervals apply. For more information visit the APVMA website and search for ‘fenitrothion’ or ‘fipronil’.

Thirteen shires are affected, and good pasture growth is disappearing virtually overnight as the grasshoppers move through the area in significant numbers.  This is the third year the region’s faced this challenge which comes on the back of drought and the 2019 flood event.

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) tells us the biggest impact is in Winton, Flinders, Richmond, McKinlay and Longreach shires. Localised areas of significant impact have occurred in the Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Boulia, Cloncurry, Burke and Carpentaria shires.

There are also reports of locusts in Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo and Diamantina shires.

Help us understand the extent of the problem

Producers are urged to complete the grasshopper impact survey being conducted by DAF. The information provided is vitally important to help inform the extent of the damage, and support research into options for managing the problem.

You can complete the survey here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/2021grasshoppers

Producers are also strongly encouraged to collect photos of grasshoppers on their property and report sightings to DAF on 13 25 23 or to their local biosecurity officer or extension officer.

Questions or concerns?

Local DAF extension staff are at the Drought and Flood Agency’s Drought Community Outreach events at Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond, Hughenden and Winton this week.

They’ll field enquiries and discuss various aspects of your businesses. You are welcome to bring:

  • grasshopper samples or photographs
  • photos of plants for identification.  Sometimes key identification characteristics aren’t sufficiently visible in a photo so a sample is sometimes necessary
  • samples of plants you would like identified – either in a plastic bag to prevent any seed spread, or ideally pressed in newspaper
  • photos of pastures and responses
  • recent rainfall records (or photos of records)

You can find out more about the Drought Community Outreach events here.

Read our earlier story about the Agency’s involvement in the Grasshopper Working Group, local contacts, and the role Advisory Board member and Winton Shire Mayor Gavin Baskett has played to encourage a coordinated response.

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