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Farmers urged to look for signs of mice early

DARLING Downs farmers are being urged to monitor their crops for mouse infestations following a season of ideal breeding conditions for the rodents.
DARLING Downs farmers are being urged to monitor their crops for mouse infestations following a season of ideal breeding conditions for the rodents. Contributed

DARLING Downs farmers are being urged to monitor their crops for mouse infestations following a season of ideal breeding conditions for the rodents.

Grains Research and Development Corporation research predicted the region's farmers would see high mouse numbers among their crops, potentially damaging the maturing sorghum.

The Federal Government department has urged farmers to closely monitor their crops and bait early to reduce the damage on the newly sown winter crops.

Landmark cotton agronomist Jamie Innes said it was hard to tell the number of mice on the ground in crops, but urged producers to monitor the situation.

"Mice numbers were high in the late sorghum crop," he said.

"But because there aren't many crops in at the moment, it is hard to tell what the mice numbers are like."

GRDC studies of mouse populations in December found most adult females were pregnant which would create a high population in crops in May.

Other research by the department also found infestations occurred, on average, every two years with the last recorded outbreak in the summer of 2010-2011. Plague numbers were predicted for every four years.