The mouse plague tearing through NSW has hit the MIA, as the mice work their way south.
Debbie Buller, a rice farmer in the Murrami area, has been valiantly battling the mice this year but says it's a losing battle. A particular crop towards Barellan has already taken significant damage.
"There's just masses of them, they come and they eat the grain. The only option we have is baiting, but that comes at a cost and it's very time consuming. It's also a worry cause you're always worried about harming other critters, not just the mice as well."
Mrs Buller said that with the huge amounts of mice in farms across the state, accessing bait was becoming an issue as well. The bait already costs around $17,000 to cover 1000 hectares, according to NSW Farmers.
The other issue she's facing is the logistics of attempting to get the mice under control, while also preparing for this year's harvest.
"We're doing whatever we can do to get it done. It's not just an easy fix."
In a plea to get support from the NSW Government, the NSW Farmers Grains Committee chair Matthew Madden discussed the devastating impact the mice have had.
"This plague has destroyed tonnes of fodder that was set aside for drought proofing and they are causing nightmares in the home, chewing through mattresses, spoiling food and people are waking up with them on their face."
They are causing nightmares in the home, chewing through mattresses, spoiling food and people are waking up with them on their face.Matthew Madden, chair of the NSW Farmers Grains Committee
Mr Madden was pushing for immediate financial assistance from the state government.
"The financial damage caused by this mouse plague already goes into the millions of dollars and without urgent action, it will run into the hundreds of millions of dollars..." he said in a statement.
Mrs Buller said that thankfully, her house was mouse-proofed but that the mice were causing further issues than just eating through the harvest. She said that mice would get into machinery and chew through wires, forcing further time and money to go into fixing them.
Mrs Buller said that while she wasn't sure exactly what needed to be done, she could think of several ways the state government could help address the rat crisis.
"Anything they can do to speed up access to the products we need would help, and recognising the costs involved too. They're two things that maybe the government can help with."
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