Brazil and Argentina are monitoring a cloud of locusts that’s crossing South America, with both governments issuing warnings for parts of their countries.
The insects, which entered Argentina from Paraguay at the end of May, are heading toward Uruguay.
While they are not expected to affect Brazil’s crops, the nation’s Agriculture Ministry on Thursday declared a state of emergency in two southern states in order to allow officials to take preventive measures.
The swarm of locusts is close to the province of Entre Ríos, Argentina’s food safety department Senasa said in a report on June 23. So far, there has been no damage to crops in the area, according to department, though the locusts have already moved through several provinces – heading through Formosa, Chaco and Santa Fe, before arriving in Corrientes.
"The teams of Senasa and the province of Corrientes are working to detect the current location of the sleeve, because there is no precise location in the area where it descended," a statement said. .
It suggested that the locusts had "not moved due to the low temperatures, which affect them remarkably," said Héctor Medina, an agricultural engineer at Senasa.
The most recent invasions of locust in Argentina were in 2019 and 2017, according to Senasa. Locusts are migratory, able to travel as many as 150 kilometres (93 miles) in a day. They have been known to cross from one province to another, or even from one country to another, in a few hours.
Massive swarms of locusts have also ravaged fields in Africa and Pakistan, destroying crops and dealing a crippling blow to economies.