THE Victorian Farmers Federation’s (VFF) Grains Group has supported an application for the use of zinc phosphide to control mice plagues across the Victorian grain belt.
The application, made by West Australian chemical company 4Farmers, is for an Emergency Use Permit to be submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
VFF Grains Group President Andrew Weidemann said that the Australian East Coast grain belt faced a significant mice plague with farms in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland expected to be hit hard over the coming months.
“The extent of the expected plague, combined with the fact that there are only two providers of mice control chemicals in Australia, may result in both significant shortages in chemicals as well as high costs for grain producers,” Mr Weidemann said.
“The high costs of existing bait and shortages in supply resulted in ineffective treatment of last year’s plague which has only exacerbated the problem this year.
“The application to APVMA seeks to register a zinc phosphide product which will allow farmers to treat their own seed and effectively produce their own mice bait. The point of applying for an Emergency Use Permit is to ensure there is adequate supply and that it is affordable for farmers to access and treat this plague effectively.
“If approved by the APVMA, access to the zinc phosphide, like other agricultural chemicals, would be available to appropriately accredited farmers with Agricultural Chemical Users Permits.
“Farmers have great difficulty in accessing this chemical due to its lack of affordability, supply, and suppliers. We hope that the APVMA will recognise this industry-wide problem and approve the permit accordingly,” Mr Weidemann concluded.