Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Farmers put on alert over mice

- Farmers and rural landholder­s are urged to report mouse activity by visiting https://www.feralscan.org.au/mousealert.

The state’s peak agricultur­al body has urged farmers to be extra vigilant in coming weeks, with more and more reports of mouse activity in paddocks.

Let’s make sure we all get out of the ute and into the paddock to make sure we avoid another plague.

— Xavier Martin

NSW Farmers vice president Xavier Martin said there were anecdotal reports of mouse numbers growing in the north of the state, and some farmers had increased baiting in an effort to get ahead of the numbers.

“We need everyone to use their chew cards but also to keep an eye out for mice, and report any rise in numbers,” Mr Martin said.

“The latest official CSIRO-GRDC Mouse Update indicates patchy numbers in New South Wales that are generally low, but we’re also hearing stories of mice running around farms, so there’s a bit of a mismatch there.

“What we don’t want to see is a repeat of last year’s mouse plague, so please if you see something, say something.”

Regional communitie­s were swarmed last year as a mouse plague chewed its way through millions of dollars worth of crops, damaging farm machinery, vehicles and buildings in the process.

People were sickened by ‘carpets’ of mice on highways, and they were even sighted in urban environmen­ts.

“A New South Wales Farmers survey last year found a third of respondent­s estimated losses from the mouse plague worth between $50,000 and $150,000, with a loss of grain and fodder having the greatest financial impact,” Mr Martin said.

“We strongly advocated for — and secured — a zinc phosphide bait rebate from the government, but we also saw an awful lot of damage caused by the runaway mouse numbers.

“Let’s make sure we all get out of the ute and into the paddock to make sure we avoid another plague.”

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