Rodents are out in force again this year and with nationwide straw shortages, farmers are being urged to protect already scarce straw stocks, so they last the winter.
Ken Black, national account manager at Bayer, said the poor 2020 harvest means there needs to be a pro-active approach to protecting straw bales from rodents that are now seeking cover, harbourage and winter feed.
“According to AHDB, straw prices are up by over 40% on this time last year, that reflects the limited availability – thorough rodent control is going to be especially vital this winter.”
Mr Black said his three-point plan will keep rodents out of the straw shed this winter.
He said: “Firstly, producers should ensure the area around the shed is free from debris and undergrowth, as rodents may be sheltering there; secondly, monitor for activity to provide the evidence that rodents are active and if they are, pinpoint the areas of high activity.
The final course of action is to look to rodenticides.
“Remember, that anyone purchasing and applying these treatments must have appropriate qualifications and adhere to CRRU guidelines, which is also now a requirement of farm assurance.”