Effective Bird Deterrence Strategies for Viticulture

Aug 9, 2022
Effective Bird Deterrence Strategies for Viticulturen

Dealing with pests is an ongoing challenge when it comes to managing a vineyard. From planting through harvesting, your hard work is at risk of becoming some other creature’s buffet.

Birds are among the most voracious of pests, especially during the onset of ripening, known in the industry as the “veraison” stage of grape growth.

The damage will continue until the fall, and even throughout winter months if ice wine is being harvested. Birds can damage grape crops in two ways. One way is the consumption of whole berries,  while the other is damage caused by pecking. Pecking can lead to bacteria and disease infiltration in the fruit. According to a study performed by Michigan State University, crop losses on unmanaged properties can be up to 95% in red varieties and up to 60% in white varieties. Most of the damage occurs in areas with no bird controls in place.

Biology and Species-based Bird Deterrence Lets Farmers Grow in Peace

At Wild Goose Chase, we have deep expertise in the tools and strategies for deterring birds from agricultural crops. Our methods are biology based and customized by location and species. Bird species that can threaten agricultural businesses include:

The Tools You Need to Protect Your Crops from Hungry Birds

Wild Goose Chase has a wide array of deterrent tools and strategies for minimizing bird damage to crops. The most effective solution is often a multi-level approach, ensuring that birds are unable to learn how to defeat any single approach and to ensure the right solution at the right time. While netting is an effective method that has been around for years, once a bird learns the pattern of a scare device like netting, it soon learns how to how to get through, and the deterrent effect drops sharply.

Netting is also time consuming and expensive ($1,000 per acre according to the MSU study). An easier and less expensive alternative is a high-powered, automated laser device. The random, automated nature of this scare tactic prevents birds from becoming accustomed to it. Easy to install, automated lasers leverage birds’ instinct to flee from predators. One study on a California grape farm showed that laser usage resulted in a 99.8% bird reduction and a savings of $25,000 annually.

Get the Expertise You Need for Effective Agricultural Bird Deterrence

Wild Goose Chase has the experience and expertise you need for assessing the bird challenges you face and putting the best management practices in place. The damage that birds inflict on agricultural crops can be expensive. Investing in biology-based professional help is cost-effective, labor-saving and far more likely to bring the results you need than trying to manage bird deterrence on your own.

Reach out to our team today for an assessment.

Contact us to learn more about agricultural bird deterrence