(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The desert locust situation in Dhahirah and Buraimi governorates - which bore the brunt of swarm infestation - has improved significantly over the first 15 days of June.
The spread has been checked due to intensive measures aided by continued dry conditions.
Fears that the expected cyclone would bring rains and provide ideal conditions for the locusts to grow and form swarms have been put to rest with no rains reported in the past few days.
The control operations in Buraimi and Dhahirah were stopped on June 1. However, there is a risk that remaining adults may form groups and move to neighbouring farms from wadis and plains. To check that, two control teams are on stand-by, waiting for any report on the presence of locusts.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in its desert locust bulletin for June 1-5, however forecasts that smallscale breeding is likely to occur in Sharqiyah, causing locust numbers to increase slightly.
The bulletin added that presence of adults was reported in two North Sharqiyah farms - in Al Jiz and near Sinaw - which were found infested with immature, scattered, locusts yellow in colour. On June 13, control operations were conducted on the first farm using emulsified concentrate pesticides with high pressure sprayers over a two hectare area, while owner of the second farm owner refused treatment.
There were unconfirmed reports about the presence of hoppers in Wadi Sal during the first week of June, the report said.
Locust infestation was reported in farms in Al Rodha in Musandam, which was controlled on June 1. Desert locust infestation was also reported in Dhofar from farms in Al Mishash, Al Manader, Bin Khwater, Shasar, Doka and Rub al Khali with a mix of mature and immature solitary locusts in low density. The ministry, in its report on the ecological conditions for the locusts to breed, said that no rains have been recorded during June and only Cyclone Nanauk was expected to hit the eastern part of Oman. But it dissipated over sea without any affects on Oman.
Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization reported that in Oman, local breeding is coming to an end in the northern interiors where hopper groups and bands as well as groups of adults formed near the border of UAE. ''Ground control operations were carried out in both countries,'' it said.
The United States Agency for International Development in its Emergency Transboundary Outbreak Pest (ETOP) Situation Report said that adult groups and small swarms may form in Oman from June to mid-July. The agency reported that more than 5,000ha of land was treated for locusts in Oman in May, while in UAE control operations were carried over 2,500ha. In Saudi Arabia, treated area spread over 16,500ha in May.