With rodent activity only rising, farmers will now be able to stay one step ahead of the small but mighty pests by using an innovative monitoring tool set to help farmers manage mice population numbers.
Launched this week by the NSW Government, the innovative tool will provide farmers a live snapshot of on farm rodent activity not just on their properties, but properties statewide.
The news is well welcomed by farmers, and comes in good time ahead of what is expected to be a record harvest this spring.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said that the dedicated monitoring system was another valuable tool for farmers to utilise to combat the surge in mice as harvest approaches.
"By asking farmers to use mouse chew cards once a week and record their results by filing out a quick online form, not only can we closely track any rise in numbers, but also see what level of damage is occurring in particular crops," Mr Marshall said.
According to the Department of Primary Industries, mice are predominantly seed and grain feeders, with the most economic damage done at the flowering and grain filling stages of crops.
The results recorded by farmers are fed into an online dashboard so other farmers across the state and in the same regions can identify when populations are increasing in their area, which will in turn help them respond quickly with targeted baiting programs.
"A system like this is only as accurate as the information that is provided, which is why we are encouraging farmers across the state to regularly engage with this new tool, so it is as useful as possible," Mr Marshall said.
Riverina Local Land Services Invasive Species and Plant Health Team Leader Toby O'Brien strongly encouraged farmers to start using the new tool.
"Part of managing pests is understanding where the issues are, so we encourage Riverina farmers to get behind the mice monitoring tool and report mice activity," Mr O'Brien said.
"The more farmers who take part, the better the picture you will have across the Riverina".
The monitoring tool has been in trial stages in the states north west since July and was developed in collaboration with CottonInfo and the CSIRO.
Farmers can find the form, dashboard, and instructions on how to report their own mouse activity on the Local Land Services website at www.lls.nsw.gov.au/mice.
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