FARMERS across southeast Australia can expect a locust juggernaut to hit them in October.
That's according to the latest hatching forecast by the Australian Plague Locust Commission.
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- Hatch locust defence plan
Modelling by the APLC has predicted peak hatching dates ranging from late August in northwest NSW through to October 30 around Horsham.
APLC director Chris Adriaansen said hatchings could vary seven to 10 days either side of the anticipated peak dates.
The hatching dates would be updated as more climatic data became available.
Mr Adriaansen said a 1C temperature increase over the long-term average for the Bendigo district would bring forward hatching by about 10 days.
He advised farmers to keep monitoring the APLC's website for updates as the problem neared.
Last week, Premier John Brumby announced five control centres in Victoria - one each at Horsham, Mildura, Swan Hill, Tatura and Bendigo - to co-ordinate action against locusts.
The centres are part of the State Government's $43.5 million injection of funds to tackle locusts, of which about half would be spent on reimbursing farmers for insecticides.
Details on the rebate were not expected for a few weeks.
A DPI spokesman said control of locusts would need to be a combined effort from farmers, councils, other landholders and government agencies.
Meanwhile, farmers north of Hamilton fear their control and management options will be limited, due to the locusts being "on the wing" by late spring or summer doubled with the long chemical withholding periods.
Gatum farmer Rob Lawrance called for one government body to manage the locust threat, similar to the way an animal disease outbreak would be managed.
He said while the APLC provided good information, the commission might not advise farmers in enough detail about a co-ordinated spraying effort.
Mr Lawrance said the process for buying subsidised chemicals was complicated.
"If you want to get a subsidy for the chemical you have to ring up APLC and they send out a State Government person who evaluates the problem and sends the report back to the APLC, who then issues you with a property infestation number then you can go to the retailer and buy the chemical - by that time it is too late," he said.
Another Gatum farmer, Mark Williams, said controlling the locusts, if they were on the wing during harvest, would be extremely difficult.
- For more details, visit http://www.daff.gov.au/animal-plant-health/locusts