Categories: South Africa

Mice ‘run amok’ in Swartland croplands

Mice and worm infestations in crops in the Swartland have been causing serious damage, with the cost of preventative measures and replanting already running into millions of rand.

Mice and worm infestations in crops in the Swartland have been causing serious damage, with the cost of preventative measures and replanting already running into millions of rand.

This was according to André Kirsten, a wheat, canola and wine producer near Darling and Grain SA’s representative for the Swartland region.

Kirsten said that while wheat and other crops were starting to emerge through the soil thanks to good rainfall in recent weeks, “some crops have brown patches [throughout the lands], where mice have eaten away seeds. I have received complaints from the Darling and Malmesbury areas [in particular].”

He described the situation as “almost a plague”, and added that a lot of money had already been spent on pest control chemicals to control the mice, but producers did not seem to be getting the invasion under control.

He told Farmer’s Weekly that he was aware of farmers in the area who had to replant between 140ha and 160ha of crops. Kirsten said he also had to re-sow some of his crops.

He attributed the “mouse plague” to the good rain that was received in March, which resulted in ample food supplies for the mice and led to them breeding at an accelerated rate.

In addition to mice, several worm species, including cutworm and Western Province grain worm, had also occurred sporadically this year.

While worm invasions were commonplace every year, Kirsten said the infestations appeared to be escalating slowly.

“It does not explode into pests, but it is becoming more and more common and [the worms are] also starting to attack different crops.”

Despite the year’s challenges, Kirsten said that the industry was carefully optimistic about the outcome for the season ahead as a result of the good rain the area had received so far.

However, he emphasised that although the soil moisture had so far been sufficient for the crops, much more rain was needed to replenish depleting groundwater and dam levels.

Share
Published by

Recent Posts

Lower consumer price inflation bodes well for consumers

Consumers can breathe a sigh of relief as South Africa’s consumer price inflation (CPI) has reached its lowest level in…

2 mins ago

Lucerne shortage and high prices weigh on farmers

The ongoing drought has resulted in a shortage of lucerne across the country, with increased prices making it unaffordable for…

23 hours ago

Vrede dairy project case almost ready for court – NPA

The investigation into the Vrede dairy project, also known as the Estina dairy project, in the Eastern Free State will…

2 days ago

SA’s top sheep and cattle farmers announced

All problems can be solved as long as you have access to good feed. This was according to Cobus and…

1 week ago

Total’s proven quality products

Total South Africa provides clean, high-performing petroleum and diesel, liquid petroleum gas, greases and lubricants for any application.

1 week ago

Poultry master plan aims to increase local production

A new poultry sector master plan that will benefit everyone in the industry has been welcomed by the Association of…

2 weeks ago