WithTheGrain: Mice numbers to continue into 2018

Author: | Date: 11 Jan 2018

Horsham-based agronomist and member of the medium-rainfall zone Regional Cropping Solutions Network John Robertson has seen mice right throughout the 2017 growing season across the Wimmera, Mallee and Northern Grampians areas in Victoria.

He expects mice numbers to increase over the summer.

“Mice were there in isolated pockets throughout the 2017 growing season because there was plenty of food carried over from the 2016 harvest,” he says.

“They seem to have increased in the last couple of months of the year and we’ve been recommending growers to keep their stubbles short while harvesting.”

John says he has had success in using chew cards to monitor numbers and apply bait accordingly.

“We put the cards out in canola and early spring wheats and had quite a lot of success with those in September,” he says.

“We baited based on the results of the cards and the baits were effective, so we’ll be looking to use those again this year.”

 

John Robertson

Horsham-based agronomist John Robertson expects mice numbers to rise over the 2017-18 summer.

John says there has not been a distinction between the mice preferring one crop type over another, however barley stubbles generally seem to attract a lot of activity.

“The barley stubbles tend to have more standing straw providing both more shelter and food for the mice,” John says.

“I’ve been hearing from growers harvesting that they’ve been seeing more damage than initially expected in all crop types.

“Keep the food and shelter down as much as possible. If you haven’t got those two things, you most likely won’t get the population increase in mice numbers.

“If you have sheep, graze them to reduce the food source and break down some of the shelter. Then we’ll be reassessing the numbers in March and doing some early baiting if it’s required.”

More information

John Robertson
john@agwiseservices.com.au
0429 821 438