ABT00002 - Improving knowledge on best practice use of zinc phosphide for in-crop mouse control
|Project Start Date||1 July 2002|
|Project End Date||1 July 2005|
|Supervisor Name||Linton Staples|
|Organisation||Applied Biotechnologies Pty Ltd|
|Contact name||Linton Staples|
Animal Control Technologies Australia developed MOUSEOFF® Zinc Phosphide Bait# to provide the grains industry with an effective, safe and cost effective mouse control option. The product can be used at all stages of crop growth to reduce the development of ‘plague’ mice populations. During the emergency use permit phase of the project, inaccurate information was disseminated and it was clear that growers had been conditioned to reaction rather than pro-action on mouse management. This project was developed to provide quality information and training on mouse management in crops, and to ensure ‘best practice’ use of the product and chemical in order to save the industry millions of dollars annually in crop losses due to mice.
This project aimed to transfer knowledge about pro-active mouse management, MOUSEOFF® Zinc Phosphide Bait#, the zinc phosphide chemical itself, and therefore achieve good product stewardship and appropriate product use to a variety of agencies and individuals responsible for pest animal management in crops. The project was considered to be successful in ‘training the trainer’ and thus provided a greater depth of knowledge at all levels of industry.
Recommendations regarding the pro-active management of mice within crops have been developed after consultation with rodent and pest animal management experts. These recommendations have been incorporated into a comprehensive 32 page MOUSEOFF®# booklet, which details integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, the benefits of and techniques for on-farm mouse monitoring, and the best practice use of MOUSEOFF® Zinc Phosphide Bait# for mouse control in crops.
Other recommendations have been incorporated into the professionally developed MOUSEOFF® DVD/video, as well as in the finalised workshop package, presented in CD ROM format.
The main benefit to grain growers from this project is improved dissemination of accurate knowledge about the correct and appropriate application of zinc phosphide# bait for control of mice in vulnerable crops, as well as the distribution of improved up-to-date advisory information and improved training of farm advisers at several levels. This information will aid in economic decision making by growers to ensure that crops are not lost to mouse infestations, as has occurred in the past.
Mouse infestations pose a significant and increasing threat to broadacre crops throughout Australia. The development of a readily available zinc phosphide# bait (MOUSEOFF®#) provides the most cost-effective control option to reduce crop damage caused by mice. However, registration and uptake of the product had progressed well ahead of industry training. Since its introduction in 1997, the MOUSEOFF® rodenticide has saved more than $300 million of crops under threat of mouse damage. Despite this success, research knowledge about the product and the active ingredient (zinc phosphide) remained largely confined to a number of scientists and agency leaders with direct experience of mouse management or who contributed to the development of zinc phosphide as a mouse toxicant. Proper communication and extension of research and technical innovation were required for this new technology to be used and adopted effectively in the long term.
Workshops were conducted in major grain-growing regions throughout Australia including Dalby, Theodore, Capella and Jambin (Queensland), Launceston and Hobart (Tasmania), Walpeup and Horsham (Victoria), Bellata, Narrandera and Trangie (NSW), and Kadina, Wudinna and Lameroo (South Australia). These workshops were aimed at key growers, as well as those advisers who can assist in providing decision assistance for growers on pest animal management, particularly mice. Therefore, other workshop participants included trained agronomists (government, private and merchant), aerial contractors and state pest animal control agencies.
In addition to the workshops, other extension tools were updated and introduced into the training package. The comprehensive MOUSEOFF® booklet, (which details the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles that can be applied throughout the year to reduce the potential for mouse population numbers to rise, as well as techniques for on-farm monitoring, and best practice use of MOUSEOFF® as a control option), was updated after consultation and review by a panel of 19 rodent specialists and land managers with experience regarding mice in crops. This collaborative approach enabled the consolidation of new knowledge and extension information, and 70,000 copies of the revised booklet were produced for distribution.
A poster detailing the achievements of the project as an information dissemination technique to encourage and educate on the best practice management of mice in crops was presented at the 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference held in Wellington, New Zealand in May 2005. The poster generated considerable interest from conference participants, particularly as a success story in relation to the transfer of information throughout the advisory services and farm management chains, as well as directly to end users (growers). Other land management bodies involved with pest animal management and control (such as the Department of Conservation, New Zealand), were interested in using similar approaches and techniques to transfer knowledge regarding invasive animals (including rodents) and the options available for control of these species.
|Intellectual Property Summary||
The workshop package on best practice mouse management in crops is the joint property of GRDC and ACTA, but recognises the inputs of participating organisations. The seminar package has copyright to offer some control over misuse or unauthorised replication, although it is understood that the end objective is to ensure the package is widely available to groups or organisations that have a role in ensuring best practice control of mice. Therefore, access to the package will not be unreasonably restricted.
|Published Date||23 October 2015|
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