New permits to control rats in cane
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.