NSW farmers have called the government's $50 million mouse plague aid package "impractical" and "dysfunctional", saying immediate rebates for agricultural primary producers are a necessity.
In the $50 million mouse plague relief package announced last Thursday, farmers were promised free grain treatment using bromadiolone, a poison pending approval for agricultural use by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and currently used for domestic baits.
The association has proposed a 50 per cent rebate be offered to farmers for current and previous bait expenses, with a cap of $25,000 on repayment.
Riverina farmer and chairman of the local NSW Farmers branch Alan Brown said the funding does nothing for primary producers who lost thousands trying to protect crops from the vermin before the government stepped in.
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"I have no idea why it took them this long, the situation is desperate, the scale of the problem is massive," he said.
"A key problem is people have already sown the winter crop and spent thousands on treating the mice.
"Now they will miss out completely on the funding."
NSW Farmers vice-president Xavier Martin said delays from Agricultural Minister Adam Marshall and Deputy Premier John Barilaro meant the plan is unlikely to save the winter crop.
"The Minister and Deputy Premier have been on the case for more than two months, and we've been given an impractical and dysfunctional proposal from Minister Marshall that may be in place some time in June," he said. "It's too late."
"We're trying to get a crop in now and I'm talking to farmers who have abandoned not just multiple paddocks, but who for their whole farm are saying: 'I cannot manage this risk ... There's nothing left'."
The government yesterday announced 5000 litres of bromadiolone had been secured for distribution in NSW, with the ability to treat 95 tonnes of seeds, and that the current agent used, zinc phosphide, will be doubled in strength to ensure lethal doses are being administered.
CSIRO researcher Steve Henry said the testing so far is showing doubling the dose of zinc phosphide could do the most to curb the exploding mouse population.
"We're hopeful it will be a very effective strategy," Mr Henry said.
Mr Martin said the amount of poison won't do much to cover the 5 to 6 million hectares of winter crops planted in NSW.
"Ninety-five tonnes?" Mr Martin said.
"That isn't even enough to cover one quarter of the paddocks that are trying to be sown in NSW right now."
In a statement, Mr Marshall said the government's approach to the mouse plague is still "evolving".
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