Germany’s Crops Seen Facing Field Mouse Threat by Farm Lobby DBV

The field-mice population in central Germany has reached “critical levels,” threating to cause damage to the upcoming harvest that could exceed last year’s losses, farm lobby Deutscher Bauernverband said.

Field-mouse populations are high in parts of Thuringia, Hesse, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, with farmers finding 50 to 60 mouse holes per square meter in some fields, the farm group wrote in an e-mailed statement today.

“Even the prolonged winter weather couldn’t reduce the problem,” the lobby wrote. “The extent in parts of Germany is already critical.”

Last year, mice caused estimated losses of 80,000 metric tons of grain with a value of 16 million euros ($21 million) in Thuringia’s Soemmerda district alone, according to the group.

Authorities should allow farmers to use “effective products” if necessary, and spread of the field-mouse plague to other regions should be prevented, DBV wrote, without providing details on possible measures.

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