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Invasion of locusts hits Sardinia

June 11, 2019

The plague has been described as the worst of its kind in six decades. Vegetation has been severely hit and the industry fears it may be too late to save this year's crop.

A swarm of locusts, in an archive image from Madagascar, 2013.
Image: Imago Images/Nature Picture Library

Millions of locusts have invaded the Italian island of Sardinia, seriously affecting farmers' livestock and crop production.

Italian agricultural organization Coldiretti has pleaded for government assistance in fighting the plague.

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"We are walking on locust carpets," Coldiretti said in a statement.

The locusts have destroyed 2,500 hectares (6,200 acres) of agricultural land in the province of Nuoro, between the towns of Ottana and Orani.

Locusts in Sardinia, Italy
Locusts are seen here in Mamoiada, Sardinia, in the worst plague to hit the island in 60 yearsImage: Reuters/Coldiretti

Coldiretti fears it may be too late for this year's crop, but preventative measures should be put in place for next year.

"We had droughts in 2017 and a lot of rain in 2018, the ideal climate for locusts to emerge from fallow land and then move to cultivated fields to eat," Michele Arbau from the lobby group said. "There is nothing we can do about it this year."

The invasion of the tropical grasshoppers has been described by experts as the worst in the region in 60 years.

jsi/msh (Reuters, AP)

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