Australia mice plague: Farming chief discusses rodents' impact
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“Billions” of mice continue to ravage Australian farms prompting farmers to voice serious concerns of food shortages and shattered agriculture lands as mice tear through crops and grain barns down under. After consecutive years of drought, high moisture levels and fewer predators following the devastating fires conditions are now perfect for the mice to thrive. Speaking to Radio 4 Today programme, Australian farmer Javier Martin warned farmers “are pulling out” explaining the biblical rodent swarm has now caused millions of dollars worth of damage as it tears through fields, grain stores and farming equipment and threatens food shortages.
Mr Martin said: “We’ve probably spent the equivalent of thirty-thousand pounds baiting our (crops).
“We are in a race here in New South Wales to try to plant six-million hectares of winter crop.”
He warned: “And farmers are pulling out because they really can’t see how they can manage this plague by themselves.
“We’ve been calling for government support for 70-thousand kilos a day of zinc phosphate bait going out.”
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Mr Martin added: “We are looking for a broader scale response.
“At the moment we are trying to control it paddock by paddock.
“We have got to take the whole of the farm, whole of the valley.
“A whole of landscape approach.”
Australia: Farmers discuss growing plague of mice
Norman Moeris, a farmer from Gilgandra, New South Wales also feared serious repercussions of the plague on food supply.
He said: “This one has been probably the worst mouse plague I’ve ever been through.
“I’ve been through three others over the years.
“Hay worth fifty to sixty thousand dollars has been ruined. Grain stored in big plastic bags, they’ve eaten them – everywhere they can go they’ll go.”
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Speaking to BBC News, Martin Murray, another farmer and agronomist, said: “The real economic damage is in the pay.
“In Australia, most areas will only get one crop a year and so to have a plague hit you in what would otherwise be a good year – it can be a real setback.”
Mice can have ten litters and give birth to an astonishing 500 rodent babies a year during the breeding season and they can give birth to a litter of 10 pups every few weeks.
While one horrifying image has emerged showing a mouse with its head stuck in a bathroom sink’s plug hole, emphasising the scale of the problem Aussies are facing as mice find their way into houses through drain pipes.
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