When it comes to planning for the spring crop, an ounce of bird prevention is more like a bushel of cure. With so many birds migrating north to their nesting and breeding homes, your seeds and freshly planted crops may be taken for an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Whether they are just passing through or locals, the number of birds – and the crop damage they inflict – increases dramatically in the spring. The best form of damage control? A plan for prevention.
Lucky for you Midwestern farmers, prevention is a Migratory Bird Management specialty.
Corn and soybeans are the predominant agricultural crops in the Midwest, accounting for 70% of cropland. Other high-value specialty crops, like cranberries, apples and pumpkins, are also beginning to take root in the Midwest. As temperatures rise and frost levels decrease across the Midwest, the spring crop season is expected to grow longer. A longer growing season can mean more crops, but it can also add to the lifespan of damaging pests.
Many birds impact crops in the Midwest. Some birds target a specific crop while others dine on a wider selection. Among the problem species we deal with are European starlings, sandhill cranes and red wing blackbirds. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one crane can eat 400-800 newly planted corn kernels a day. Cranes congregate in flocks up to 100 birds. This means 4,000-8,000 plantings can be destroyed in a single day. Many smaller birds also inhabit spring crops, some of which can be beneficiary.
How MBM Can Help
Migratory Bird Management uses high intensity lasers to drive birds away. These work because the key to removing pest birds is a randomly occurring threat. The birds have a different set of cones in their eyes which causes them to perceive the beam as a threat. The beam can be automated to occur at irregular intervals and can move across the field manually or automatically.
Identifying the problem and the responsible species is the first step in creating a strategy.
There are many stages to planting spring crops and a lot of things to think about. Bird pests are one more obstacle farmers must manage. Migratory Bird Management can help farmers identify the problem and the best practices to minimize bird problems. An array of solutions allows us to craft the most effective strategies for your property. Learn more about the markets we serve and the results we have achieved for local farmers.