Home Sports Grasshoppers, alarm in Sardinia: new invasion. 50 thousand hectares at risk. What happen

Grasshoppers, alarm in Sardinia: new invasion. 50 thousand hectares at risk. What happen

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Grasshoppers, alarm in Sardinia: new invasion.  50 thousand hectares at risk.  What happen

Cagliari, June 16, 2022 – A ‘record invasion which threatens to bring the economy of the countryside to its knees Sardinia: it is the fourth consecutive spring that the scorching heat unleashes the fury of millions of grasshoppers. The hectares attacked by locusts three years ago had been ‘only’ two thousand. But it is a phenomenon that is spreading: now the war machine that jumps and destroys the fields has reached an altitude of 30 thousand hectares. According to the estimates of the Coldiretti Nuoro-Ogliastra it will soon reach 50 thousand. And even in this case, climate change has to do with it.

Grasshoppers (Ansa)

The impact of climate change

“Le climatic conditions facilitate anomalous development of this insect in 2022 with practically halved rainfall and – underlines Coldiretti – on the eve of a summer that comes after a month of May which ranked second hottest ever, with a temperature of 1.83 ° higher than the climatic average from 1800 to today. A confirmation of the trend towards raising the now structural mercury column in Italy where the ranking of the hottest years in the last two centuries is concentrated in the last period and includes in order 2018, 2020, 2015, 2014, 2019 and 2003 “.

The most affected areas

Il center of the island is the most affected area: from the plain of Ottana in the province of Nuorothe invasion came to Marghinealong the thyrsus to the Goceano in the province of Sassari ad Ozieri and then towards Seat in the province of Oristano. Grasshoppers also end up on the State 131 that crosses Sardinia: the cars have to deal with hundreds of specimens that squash on the windshield. And very eloquent images are circulating online and on social networks: gardens and land razed to the ground by invasions within a few hours. The mayor of the municipality of Noragugume (Nuoro), Rita Zarualso on behalf of the Union of Municipalities of Marghine, has addressed the Fao, the United Nations organization for food and agriculture to ask for help and interventions to contain the phenomenon and prevent it and support damaged farmers and ranchers. Interested mayors trust expert Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer.

Patuanelli: “Immediate refreshments are not possible”

The first interventions of the Region made it possible to save the fields for a few days, but the situation has exploded again. The case also landed in Parliament, raised by the deputy of Coraggio Italia Lucia Scanu during a question time in the Chamber with the Minister of Agricultural Policies Stefano Patuanelli. Scanu asked for urgent intervention from Rome to stop the invasion and damage: “if you tell me today that the state of natural disaster has not yet been announced, you are telling me that the state is obviously willing to sacrifice other areas of Sardinia”. Patuanelli assured the deputy that “we will evaluate the state of emergency and the possible appointment of a commissioner “. He also stressed that the competence is shared by his ministry with those of the Ecological Transition and Health.” I assure the administration’s maximum willingness to share the most suitable solutions to promote recovery economic and productive activity of the damaged agricultural enterprises “. However, explains Patuanelli,”there is no possibility of immediate refreshments with state resources. The infestation of grasshoppers does not fall within the scope for which it is possible to activate the compensatory interventions of the National solidarity fundauthorized in exemption of notification under the European legislation on state aid to the agricultural sector “, he concludes.

The farmers’ initiative

Waiting for Rome or Cagliari, farmers have decided to go it alone with an intervention plan that involves municipal administrations and farms. A chrono program launched by Coldiretti shared with its members to be presented in the Region to eradicate or limit the phenomenon in one year. First of all, you are asked to create a single macro area with the overall mapping of the areas involved by the maximum date of 1 September. And then plowing between September 15th and March 30th in flat areas. “If the land does not lend itself – explains the category organization – we intervene with targeted and repeated treatments to be performed in early April on the occasion of the hatching of the eggs. ”He pushes to immediately activate a table in the Region Confagricoltura Sardiniaaccording to which it is necessary to plan the activities to be started already from the end of August to save next season’s crops. The appeal comes from the president Paolo Mele. “According to the experts who have been following the fight against grasshoppers for months, we must already intervene with light plowing of the fields – he warns – with a depth of 5 or 6 centimeters, so as to bring the larvae to the surface and make them die in contact with the air” . THE compensation for damages“when and if they arrive, they never cover real losses faced by our companies “, explains Mele.” For this reason prevention is the only real recipe winning to secure the work of thousands of workers. Finally, it is necessary to continue with the monitoring of the movements of the swarms. In fact, there are several reports that reach us about grasshoppers registered in new territories, where up until this year they had never pushed themselves “, concludes the president of Confagricoltura Sardegna.

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