Following a devastating wildfire season and a global pandemic, Australian farmers are currently grappling yet another “end-of-days” challenge. This time around, it is a plague of mice.
The plague is believed to have been sparked by drought and bumper cereal crops, which have produced perfect breeding conditions. Now it seems the mice are taking over, destroying grain stores and homes.
The epicentre lies in New South Wales where farmers have uploaded videos on social media of the vermin blanketing their hands, damaging crops, and even taking up residence inside homes.
Mouse plague to chew through billions
The window to act and control the plague is now, believes vice president of the New South Wales Farmers, Xavier Martin.
The farmers’ association estimate that the mouse plague will chew more than a billion US dollars off the farm-gate value of the state’s winter crop as the impact of this mouse invasion extends across this region.
In a media release Martin says, “Farmers are abandoning some paddocks and cannot hold off winter crop sowing a moment longer and researchers warn that without a concerted baiting effort in the next few weeks this could easily turn into a two-year plague event.
“After more than eight months of battling growing mouse numbers farmers are still waiting for state government assistance to hit the ground and offer some practical support to our farming community.”
Martin describes their government’s assistance package as impractical, dysfunctional and weeks away.
“This is not helping farmers who need support right now to drive mouse numbers down and break this horrible unrelenting cycle. Each day we delay in taking effective action to control these mice will increase economic losses and the likelihood we will still be battling mice come Christmas time.”