New per­mits to con­trol rats in cane

Central and North Rural Weekly - - DROUGHT -

SU­GAR Re­search Aus­tralia and Cane­grow­ers have worked to­gether to help Queens­land su­gar cane grow­ers con­trol rat in­fes­ta­tions.

Work­ing with the Aus­tralian Pes­ti­cides and Vet­eri­nary Medicines Au­thor­ity, the or­gan­i­sa­tions have se­cured a mi­nor use per­mit to al­low for aerial bait­ing of the rat poi­son Rat­toff (zinc phos­phide bait sa­chets) to con­trol rats in su­gar cane crops.

SRA ex­ec­u­tive man­ager for biose­cu­rity and pro­duc­tion, Dr An­drew Ward, said the per­mit had pre­vi­ously only cov­ered the Mackay and Her­bert re­gions, but now ex­tended across Queens­land.

“SRA and Cane­grow­ers have worked to­gether over the last few months to de­velop this mi­nor use per­mit for the in­dus­try, gain­ing an ex­ten­sion across Queens­land to the ex­ist­ing per­mit held by Cane­grow­ers,” Dr Ward said.

“In essence, the per­mit will al­low the ap­pli­ca­tion of baits by he­li­copters or drones in lodged cane only.”

The per­mit cov­ers an area of 10,000 hectares.

Rats have caused ma­jor da­m­age in parts of the su­gar cane in­dus­try in re­cent years, and their losses can range from 10–30 per cent as a re­sult of lost tonnes and re­duced su­gar con­tent.

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