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Adelaide, SA, May 16, 2014 –. Smith & Georg recognise that it has been widely reported there are high populations of mice on Yorke Peninsula and the mid-north, with some patchy lower populations in the Mallee and on Eyre Peninsula.
Biosecurity SA, NRM Biosecurity released a statement in March 2014 saying: "There is the potential for elevated mouse numbers this autumn/winter in regional South Australia due to high 2013 grain yields and extensive pre-harvest losses due to wind damage, particularly in barley crops. Late summer rains caused widespread germination of self-sown cereals. The early germination of cereals and winter weeds also poses another threat. If not controlled such plants could set seed in winter when mice are usually short of food, which would allow them to start breeding several months earlier than usual."
While South Australia is not in a confirmed mouse plague scenario, Mice can cause significant damage to crops and intensive livestock industries and can result in stress to rural communities. And although they occur irregularly, the frequency of recognised ‘mouse plagues’ somewhere in South Australia has increased from an average of once every six to seven years before 1970, to about once every four years since then.
Note: There are also reports of high mouse numbers from regions in Victoria and NSW.
Smith & Georg Managing Director, Dave Georg says, "Being prepared is certainly a good start in any business. Making sure your Chemical Accreditation is up to date is one step forward towards peace of mind when it comes to being prepared to use baits in a mouse plague."
Zinc phosphide and strychnine mouse baits are prohibited from use around homes and gardens to minimise harm to humans and off-target animals.
Label instructions should always be followed to the letter to minimise risks of poisoning non-target animals like dogs, cats or birds and this is particularly so for people who are unfamiliar with baiting for mice. Using more bait than that recommended on the label can increase the risk of off-target damage. In the case of zinc phosphide baits, any bait not eaten by mice in a short period will be deactivated by moisture, and will therefore be wasted.
Martin, a farmer from Kadina in South Australia said, “I got concerned when I realised the worker with chemical accreditation on our farm couldn’t buy bait as his accreditation had lapsed. This was bad news as we have to get the bait down within 24 hours after sowing and we couldn’t buy it!”
Farmers use zinc phosphide and strychnine to keep mice numbers under control. Both types of baits are Schedule 7 poison products. You need current Chemical Accreditation to firstly purchase and then secondly use Schedule 7 poisons in South Australia.
Meaning, without accreditation, farmers like Martin can get themselves into an emergency situation where the newly sown seed is at risk.
Smith & Georg Chemical Accreditation and Re-accreditation courses are available online 24/7. It's convenient and can be completed at your own pace. They make sure you know what you are doing and are doing it correctly.
In times of emergency, it's good to know Re-accreditation can be completed in around 4-6 hours, and as Dave Georg said, "If you alert our office staff, we can check your course progress, scan and email your card back almost immediately within business working hours. That provides peace of mind to those farmers needing to act fast. You'll be back out spreading mice bait in no time!"
Martin said, “I’d previously received a letter from Smith & Georg explaining the online training so knew about them and thought I’d give that a go. It was easy enough although took most of my evening, but then I realised I wouldn’t get confirmation for another 5 days. I rang Smith & Georg in the morning and spoke to them direct. They were really helpful. Great service. They didn’t get all procedural on me, they understood the situation and the pressure I was under to spread the bait out and so they processed my re-accreditation immediately. I was able to buy the bait later that day and continue working. It was easy dealing with them. “
Smith and Georg is a small Registered Training Organisation, providing chemical training for people working in primary and related industries since 1996. Based in the Adelaide Hills, they offer training throughout Australia via their online chemical accreditation training website and face to face training within South Australia.
A connection with the land is very important to them and Smith & Georg feel a bond with people who are making a living from the land and are willing to help farmers in tough situations. They are passionate about helping farmers use chemicals safely and effectively. “We want to help farmers stay healthy and live long lives, so they can watch and enjoy their grandchildren growing up.” It’s a motto they live by.”
Chemical Accreditation: http://www.smithandgeorg.com.au/courses/chemicalaccreditation.php
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