AFTER mice destroyed millions of dollars worth of crops last year the state's peak agricultural body is warning everyone to stay alert to avoid another explosion.
NSW Farmers have issued a warning for agricultural workers to stay extra vigilant in the coming weeks, with more and more reports of mouse activity in paddocks.
NSW Farmers vice president Xavier Martin said the time to take action is before peak plague time in Spring.
"The time to measure and monitor the activity is now," Mr Martin said.
"We're encouraging people to get their chew cards out, to get in the ute and have a look, and if there's signs of mouse activity report it."
Placing perimeter bait around haystacks and fencing is advised, while reporting mouse activity to the CSIRO mouse alert website is highly encouraged.
Mr Martin said it was essential that these measures were taken now, with some farmers still recovering from the last plague.
"We just don't want to go back to what we experienced last year with tens of thousands of dollars of damage and many millions of dollars of damage across the state," he said.
"Some still have contaminated produce their still trying to deal with and treat the produce so it's got some value and can be marketed.
Vigilance is the key and if we play our part we will avoid the sort of explosion we suffered last year.- Xavier Martin, NSW Farmers vice president
"It's been a long recovery from what was a very damaging plague."
A survey conducted last year found that one third of respondents estimated the mouse plague had caused losses up to $150,000, with grain and fodder having the greatest financial impact.
While the message at the moment is to be alert, not alarmed, Mr Martin said the New England North West and the Riverina were the most common places mouse activity had been reported.
"We weren't expecting this with a wet summer and wet autumn, I think most people were hoping they failed their swimming lessons and we wouldn't see them again," he said.
"The latest official CSIRO-GRDC Mouse Update indicates patchy numbers in NSW that are generally low, but we're also hearing stories of mice running around farms, so there's a bit of a mismatch there."
The advice to farmers and community members is to be watchful and alert and to report any mouse activity to the mouse alert website.
"We want to stop our mice population exploding," Mr Martin said.
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