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Locust Swarm Could Threaten India's Next Crop

18 June 2020

Gro has expanded the range of our Locust Impact Model to include northwestern India. Our model now covers 12 countries, tracking the massive swarms of desert locusts that have emerged from East Africa and spread to the Middle East, Pakistan, and now India. 

To date India’s crops have been spared. Locust swarms crossed the border from Pakistan into India after most of the country’s crops had been harvested. Now, farmers will soon begin planting their kharif crops, for harvest in the fall, and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization predicts another locust swarm will arrive in India by July

The Indian government is already taking defensive actions, enlisting drones to survey for locust infestations and offering insecticides to Pakistan and Iran to reduce swarm populations before they reach the subcontinent.

Gro’s Locust Impact Model uses pixel-level data to assess changes in vegetative health at 250-meter resolution. The impact is then aggregated from the pixel level to the district level to provide valuable insight into the effect locusts are having on crops. 

Gro has made its Locust Impact Model free and publicly available to assist governments and humanitarian organizations in containment and ground-truthing efforts across the affected regions. 

You can monitor where locusts are spreading and how much damage they are causing crops by accessing our Locust Impact Toolkit or by logging directly into your Gro account and navigating to the Gro Curated Displays on the left hand menu bar and searching for “locust.” 

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