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Insects 2020

Insects 2020

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 25 May 2020, 14:31:01

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... n-pakistan

'Many will starve': locusts devour crops and livelihoods in Pakistan

Farmers faced with worst plague in recent history say they have been left to fend for themselves


Farmers across Pakistan are suffering the worst plague of locusts in recent history, which has caused billions of dollars in damage and led to fears of long-term food shortages.

The Pakistani government declared a national emergency this year after the locusts began to decimate winter crops. The first swarm came from the United Arab Emirates in mid-2019, and in the next few weeks time a new infestation is expected to arrive from Iran.

Muhammad said he had no means of dealing with locusts and that the government was in “deep slumber” about farmers’ plight. “The government is not doing anything. It’s a helpless situation,” he said.

One of the worst hit provinces is Sindh, where Moti Lal said his livelihood was destroyed last week in one fell swoop.

“All my green crops, such as wheat and mustard, were attacked and ruined by locusts,” he said. “We had borrowed 40,000 rupees [£400] through micro-financing schemes to invest in farming. Now, all that amount is gone.”

Pakistan will incur losses of about £2bn in winter crops, such as wheat, and a further £2.3bn in the summer crops being planted now, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Ismail Rahoo, state minister of agriculture for Sindh, described the plague as a “dangerous and catastrophic threat to the economy, agriculture and food security in Pakistan”.


This year it will be ten times worse than last year. They are attacking from three sides,” he said.

“The locusts and their eggs have now covered 50,000 square kilometres of farmland. We are expecting them to infest more than 5m hectares. And they are not just attacking Sindh province, but also the agricultural areas of Punjab and Balochistan.”

Heavy rains on the Arabian peninsula in 2019 triggered explosive growth in the locust population, and they began causing problems in India, Pakistan and a number of African countries last year. The second generation is 20 times bigger. Locusts move in swarms of up to 50 million, can travel 90 miles a day, and lay as many as 1,000 eggs per square metre of land.
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Re: Insects 2020

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 25 May 2020, 14:35:10

Here they come: 17-year cicadas to emerge in 3 states this spring, summer

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather- ... mer/740722

...Adult cicadas have a short lifespan—typically about a month—but females can leave behind hundreds of eggs, meaning their populations are enormous, the NPMA says.

According to Magicicada, these cicadas are not known to be particularly harmful, but people who have fruit orchards or tree farms might find that they can become problematic if too many feed on a particular plant or lay eggs in twigs, which can cause damage to trees.

A fully emerged brood will be quite noticeable, even if you can’t spot them. That’s because as they begin their next mating cycle, the male cicadas will “sing” to the females. This can often lead to a “deafening” sound, according to Skvarla, while other experts have described a full brood's mating chorus as “an insect-sized fleet of jets preparing for liftoff.”
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Re: Insects 2020

Unread postby dissident » Mon 25 May 2020, 16:10:56

Emerged cicadas do not have any mouth to consume anything. Their underground grub stage is not known to do significant damage to trees by consumption of tree roots. The biggest impact appears to be the egg laying associated damage over sustained periods of time. But this is not from larvae eating the tree but the break in the bark that can introduce other pathogens. Anyway, humans are hardly the final objective arbiters on the utility of any life form so fixating on cicada damage while messing up the rest of the ecosystem is rather inane. Orchard growers must be messing up the function of birds on their lots which control a plethora of insect species including cicadas.
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Re: Insects 2020

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 25 May 2020, 22:01:38

Good points. But then birds might be a bit overwhelmed by the massive plethora of cicadas that emerge during these types of events.
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Re: Insects 2020

Unread postby jedrider » Mon 25 May 2020, 22:44:01

We have an explosion of young birds in our Bay Area Location. It is possible that I never noticed them much before for all the urban noise. However, I do think we have the 'baby boom' of the bird population in our neighborhood. They could be taking after the legacy of the flower children, but for birds, for all I know. I haven't discovered whether they're liberal or conservative yet. I think the crows and blue jays are conservatives, but the rest seem like carefree frolicking liberals to me :-)
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