MICE have been identified at damaging levels in chickpea crops in northern NSW.
Stuart Adam, director of start-up aerial imaging business Agronomeye, said mapping work done for a client on the Liverpool Plains, showed clearly apparent crop damage caused by mice.
“It wasn’t something he had picked up from the ground, but the mapping, which goes down to 30cm a pixel, showed it up clearly,” Mr Adam said.
“The mapping showed up what you wouldn’t see unless you really went out through crop as it was only in one section of the paddock.”
“You could see bare areas around the mouse holes where they have been eating the crop, because the map is so detailed it all showed up,” he said.
James Maxwell, Australian Crop Forecasters, said while mouse plagues in Victoria and South Australia had dominated the headlines there were smaller scale problems through NSW and southern Queensland.
“There are reports of mice damage in quite a few parts of the northern cropping zone, although it is not as big a problem as in the south.”
Mouse numbers will not be able to build up substantially in the thinner crops in the north and croppers, faced with moisture stressed crops, are unlikely to invest in baiting programs apart from in isolated instances where there is a combination of a good crop and high mouse loads.