Western Australian grain growers are reminded to make use of the new interactive MouseAlert website to help map mouse hotspots and to predict any future plagues.
Information already entered into MouseAlert, including during a Mouse Census Week in April, shows there are areas of low to high mouse activity in WA’s south-eastern and northern grain growing areas.
MouseAlert allows growers to record and view mouse activity in their local area in real time. It is funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) in collaboration with Landcare Research New Zealand, CSIRO and NSW Department of Primary Industries through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC).
CSIRO research officer Steve Henry encouraged growers to enter data into MouseAlert, regardless of whether mouse numbers were high, low or non-existent on their farms, to help establish a good dataset which could be used to develop better plague prediction models.
MouseAlert also enables other growers to get a picture of mouse activity in their local area.
“Even discovering where there are no mice is extremely important,” Mr Henry said.
“It’s always a good time to enter data into MouseAlert – mice are not only active when there’s a census.”
Mr Henry said growers who noticed significant increases in mouse activity on their farms should act quickly to manage the problem.
One option is to apply baits according to label instructions.
“If mice are at higher than normal numbers at sowing time, significant damage can occur within the first few nights after sowing unless these mice are controlled swiftly,” Mr Henry said.
Farmers can get MouseAlert at the website or download the FeralScan app which features MouseAlert (available in the iTunes store). Progress can be followed on Twitter @MouseAlert.
An android version of a MouseAlert App is in development and is expected to be available soon.
Information on methods of mouse control is available via the MouseAlert website, a GRDC Fact Sheet or the PestSmart Connect toolkit.
Caption: Cereal crops are vulnerable to mice during the first two to three weeks after seeding, when every seed removed is one less plant to provide yield potential.
Steve Henry, CSIRO
0428 633 844
Natalie Lee, Senior Consultant, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827
GRDC Project Code