Growers in parts of southern Queensland are reassessing their pest management strategies with storm damage to summer crops prompting a rapid increase in mouse activity.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is urging growers to closely monitor mouse numbers and consider baiting measures where necessary, to protect late planted summer crops and early sown winter crops.
Rodent biologist Julianne Farrell said reports were emerging of increased mice activity after severe storms decimated advanced sorghum and corn crops in the Jimbour, Bongeen and Condamine Plain areas on the Darling Downs just before Christmas.
“Mice have been building in those areas for a couple of months but all the damaged grain on the ground will probably sustain populations well into winter,” Ms Farrell said.
“Growers should consider this if they are looking at a late summer plant or when planning winter crop sowing, and consider zinc phosphide baiting if there is evidence of current mice activity in their paddocks.”
Other management options include slashing fence lines and roadside verges to reduce shelter and food sources for the mice, and cleaning up grain spillages that occurred during harvest.
Further information on mouse monitoring and control is available via the MouseAlert website.
Julianne Farrell, Farrell Consulting
0411 257 831
Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications