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Luang Prabang authorities conduct spraying to control locust outbreak

Authorities in Nambak district of Luang Prabang province recently began spraying insecticide  to kill locusts after swarms of the insects devastated more than 30 hectares of crops in 11 villages.
The spraying of chemicals is also aimed at preventing further destruction of vegetation. A team led by the Governor of Nambak district, Mr Somevang Phonekhamvongsa, and representatives of the villagers affected by the locust outbreak are overseeing the work.

After a survey, officials found that 30 hectares of dry season rice and other crops grown by 26 families were affected by the locusts. Officials from the agriculture and forestry office and other sectors then began spraying chemicals to kill the locusts.
Mr Somevang asked the people to continue monitoring the outbreak and to spray chemicals or use traditional methods to kill the locusts and prevent them from spreading to other areas.
Luang Prabang’s Agriculture and Forestry Department reported that many hectares of trees and crops in the province have been ravaged by yellow-spined bamboo locusts.
The locusts first appeared on March 23 in the six districts of Nambak, Viengkham, Ngoy, Phonxay, Phonthong and Pakxaeng. A total of 1,698 hectares of crops were damaged in these areas.
Authorities also detected sweet corn caterpillars in the three districts of Pakxaeng, Xiengngeun and Phonthong since April 29, and 24.10 hectares of sweet corn were damaged. Authorities are closely monitoring all areas for locusts to prevent an invasion by the destructive pests. Authorities and villagers are spraying chemicals and using white lime, salt and other pesticides to protect plants.
 Areas where locust larvae were detected are being sprayed with chemicals to prevent further outbreaks.
Locust outbreaks mostly occur in areas planted with bamboo, while armyworms are usually detected in areas with sweet corn crops.
Last year, locusts and eggs were found at 143 sites spread across 63 villages and nine districts of Huaphan province. Four hectares of rice crops in Phonxay village of Viengxay district and one hectare of rice crops in Xiengkhor were damaged. Locusts were first detected in Laos in October 2014 in Phonthong district of Luang Prabang province, before spreading to other areas, including Huaphan and Phongsaly provinces.

By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update June 5, 2020)

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