Argentina braces for second locust swarm of the year

Reuters reports that Argentina is getting hit by a second swarm of locusts. Senasa, Argentina’s agricultural health inspection agency, is telling farmers to report any locust swarms and prepare for possible crop damage.

The new swarm is in the Formosa province, a cattle ranching area on the Paraguay border. The area is not part of Argentina’s main Pampas grain belt,  but it could hurt crops if the low winter temperatures can’t keep the swarm from spreading further south.

“The swarm detected in Formosa advanced in a southern direction,” Senasa said in a statement. “The wind allowed it to move quickly and is expected to approach Rio Bermejo [on 21 July]. So the alert is extended to Chaco province.”

Argentine agricultural health officials are in touch with their Paraguayan and Brazilian counterparts to monitor the situation, Senasa said.

“If you see locusts, tell Senasa. The more in touch we are, the better prepared we will be,” the statement said.

Argentina is among the top global grain producing nations. Commodity crops like soybeans,  corn and wheat form critical elements of human diets and livestock feed.